Just wanted to report on the Fred Sias course on Lost Wax Casting.
It was great! For anyone struggling to learn on their own, get a hold
of his book.
Amazon, Rio or any of the suppliers have it. I wish I had found it a
year or two ago as it would have saved me a lot of time, money and
needless posts here.
It was a very active course and not a lecture based course. He let
us try things. He let us fail. He let us LEARN! Steam casting was the
most fascinating and made a believer out of all of us. Seeing the
possibility of letting a flask set for 10 minutes (yes ten) and then
placed in a 1,350 degree F oven and cast in two hours and come out
perfectly was a nice note to keep tucked away for an emergency job.
It was not recommended, but he let us try.
Even the most timid woman was comfortable melting with the torch and
releasing the spin-caster on her own when he was done. I was
confident enough to demonstrate and explain to newbie's on the last
day when we opened the class room for tours. I kept a mistake to
teach from and that ended up being one of the most interesting to new
people. I was about a half ounce short on silver! This course was
held at Wild Acres Retreat in North Carolina and if you get a chance
to attend any course there, it is well worth the drive. Florida
Society of Goldsmiths has one or two a year there and several
lapidary workshops are held. Bring stretchy pants as the food is
really good and lots of it!
If you get the opportunity to chat with Fred Sias, he takes his
coffee hot, strong and black. With no decorations!