Author Archives: skaad

About skaad

Professor Laura West, head of Sculpture at Fresno City College, has been casting iron since her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University in the late 1980's/early 1990's. This is where her first iron furnace was built. Professor West continued her studies at Idaho State University and then became part of the teaching staff at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture before moving to Fresno, California. Although Professor West has run and built furnaces of a wide variety of sizes, types and situations, she specializes in smaller furnaces and beginner crews. Laura is known internationally for her iron casting skills. Her small tap out iron cupola which melts 100 lbs/7minutes and has been used in classrooms and workshops from coast to coast. This furnace alone has seen over 30,000 pounds of iron flow through it. Professor West was even a member of a small crew of people who poured iron north of the arctic circle in Alaska. Laura's work has been exhibited internationally and focuses on the placement of cast figurative elements within installation and environmental formats. In the past several years, her work has expanded to include the use of digital technology and rapid prototyping. This research focuses on the use of digitally produced molds and patterns for use with cast metal.

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Metal Chasing and Patination

Link to a pdf that give some tips on finishing your castings. 401 ME Surface finishing and metal patination

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Friday pours Meet at 9am (car repairs)

Meet at 9:00am! Tomorrow morning is our last official set of pours.  If I have not seen you pouring metal,  I need to see your furnaces run.  We have all the ceramic shell plus at least four 3dp mold.  That … Continue reading

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Meet this morning

Meet this morning in Machine Shop/Annex computer lab at 9:45am.    Bring your solidworks files with so we can look at and edit them.

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Information on the determination of your final grade

A=90% or higher Mid-term Test 100 points Final Exam 100 points Research Paper 100 points Research Paper Peer Reviews 50 points Research Project 150 points: 100 points for completion of research and documentation – although I do not need a … Continue reading

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Group furnace pours

At this point I have not finished printing molds for the group furnaces. As many of you are still trying your furnaces, this may be helpful. I have had one of the kinds of days, we anything mechanical or :-:computer … Continue reading

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A majority of your patterns are printed or printed.  We did have a failure in printing a couple of layers of a few files that I will have to reprint (a couple of the cube shaped things mostly).  Please check … Continue reading

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Research Paper

Below are the links to the research papers.  Email me summaries of at least four of them as well as posting a summary of your favorite in the comments (directions have changed).  I want to make sure every paper is … Continue reading

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ME 401 Summer Schedule UPDATED

Tentative Schedule: NOTE THIS MAY CHANGE!!! June 18 Mon. Lecture: Introduction to Metal Casting – Furnaces, Molds, Metal + Safety! 20 Wed. Lecture: Wax Working Techniques and Welding Process 21 Thurs. Annex: Cutting Torch 25 Mon. Annex: Cutting Torch 27 … Continue reading

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I have moved around some of the deadlines and due dates.  Most importantly I am giving you a few more days to build your furnaces. 1.  The research paper is due tomorrow by midnight via email.  It should be 3 … Continue reading

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