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 over 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 on September 12-15, the cost is $435 for this four day workshop.

In this workshop, students will make beautiful 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, magically transforming ephemeral 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.

Artist Piers 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, Watson has taught thirty-seven workshops in six countries and four languages.

In 2015 Watson self-published The Luted Crucible, a Pre-Industrial Method of Metal Casting and he is currently doing research for a second book on the subject. Originally from Bozeman, Montana Watson divides his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and the south of France.

This is just a one workshop happening this summer at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. For more information please visit sitkacenter.org.

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