At the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, workshops are in full swing. From May through September, the Sitka Center’s workshops provide people of all levels the transformative and joyful experience of making art and exploring their connections to nature with more than 100 one to four-day intensives on drawing, painting, music, nature, woodworking, sculpture, fiber arts, jewelry, metal work, photography, printmaking, and writing.
One upcoming workshop that still has space available is "Introduction to Luted Crucible Casting," with Piers Watson. It will be Sept.12-15, and the cost is $435 for this four-day workshop.
In this workshop, students will make a bronze sculpture and explore the alchemical transformation of material by fire while learning an ancient, lost-wax method of metal casting that uses only natural materials and a purpose-built charcoal furnace. Students will create beeswax models, build clay molds and form clay crucibles — the vessels that have been used since antiquity to transform copper and tin into bronze. Connecting the molds to the crucibles to form luted crucibles, students will heat them to over 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, transforming wax models into timeless bronze objects. Class discussion includes environmental awareness of recognizing, honoring and making use of uniformity in the natural world and how that helps reconnect to the beauty of the natural environment.
Watson practices, teaches, researches and writes about the luted crucible technique, a lost-wax process in which the mold is attached to the crucible. In 2008 and 2012, Watson apprenticed with hereditary, indigenous metal casters in rural India. Working with museums, galleries, universities and arts centers, he has taught 37 workshops in six countries and in four languages. In 2015, Watson self-published “The Luted Crucible,” and he is currently doing research for a second book on the subject. Originally from Bozeman, Mont., Watson divides his time between Santa Fe, N.M. and the south of France.
For more information, visit www.sitkacenter.org.
About Sitka Center
Committed to expanding the relationships between art, nature and humanity, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology is known for its workshop and residency programs. Exploration of the coastal environment has remained a key component to the Sitka Center’s vitality. Located at Cascade Head, with views of the Pacific Ocean, the Sitka Center offers a place where artists, writers, environmental scientists and musicians of all abilities and backgrounds come to nourish and inspire their creativity.