Sculptor reveals secrets to students


By Mary Davisson

A&R Assistant Editor


Students group around visiting sculptor Chuck Kraus on Sept. 24 as he constructs a mold for his upcoming iron pour.

The Wisconsin-based artist has been using this method of bonded sand mold building since 2003.

The process itself is quite time consuming and meticulous, but the observing students seem quite excited about the overall end result, Kraus said.

“I wanted to just take a picture and try to replicate it,” said Leani Schoor, an auditing student.

Kraus said he is quite fond of the process he has perfected.

“It’s an intriguing process because most people don’t understand how it’s done when they see it,” Kraus said. “It’s kind of complicated and there are a lot of steps because I have to make individual sand blocks.”

The process requires a series of wooden boxes which help hold in the bonded sand until it hardens. The bonded sand blocks are eventually carved and stacked together and then put into another larger wooden flume like box for the bonded sand process to start over.

“I have to do them in 18-inch sections,” Kraus said. “It takes seven to eight hours to carve each section.”

The end products are several sand molds that will be braced together and then filled with molten iron on Saturday, Oct. 3.

After the poured iron has cooled and hardened he then welds the pieces together and then carves into the metal with drills, angle grinders and a variety of other tools.

After the carving he is left with a towering sculpture that can reach a foot or two higher than the six-foot tall artist.

“I love the flow,” Schoor said.

Professor Teresa Lind has invited her students to come and see Kraus’s process and perhaps gain some kind of inspiration or technical knowledge from the demonstration.

There is an open invitation to all University of Wisconsin students and to the surrounding community to come to the iron pour on Oct. 3.

The event begins at noon that Saturday and all community members who wish to have their molds poured are welcome to do so with a small fee of $30 that goes directly to the sculpting lab for incidentals.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email