New Foundry Gives Students Broader Sculpture Experience

New Foundry

Art instructors at Cedarville prepare to pour molten bronze, heated to 2150 degrees for sculpture casting. Photo by Daniel Sternsher

by Jennifer Hodges, Public Relations Writer

February 3, 2014

Studio art instructors at Cedarville University recently performed the school’s first bronze pour, made possible by a new foundry. The foundry was part of recent renovations for a three-dimensional design studio, and Jim Mellick said it gives Cedarville a more complete sculpture program. 

Mellick, associate professor of studio art, said pouring heavy, molten bronze always makes a dramatic event, and the long cooling process keeps sculptors in suspense. “It’s like opening a Christmas present,” he said. 

Mellick said he wanted to give students the opportunity to learn traditional casting before he retires at the end of this school year. “It’s a very complicated sculpture process,” Mellick said. Students must create wax models and plaster molds, then burn the wax out before casting with molten bronze. 

After students graduate, Mellick said they can continue to use this process to create bronze sculptures, even without their own foundry. Many artists use commercial foundries, and this also allows them to make much larger sculptures or multiple casts.

Mellick said Cedarville art students already have significant experience with wood, clay, plaster and stone materials, and he is glad to add hot metal sculpture to the program. Mellick said he wants to excite students by always adding fresh experiences.

Cedarville University, located east of Dayton, Ohio, has 3,459 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. A Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional and graduate programs, Cedarville is recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.