Published On Jun 10, 2009
Video by Robert Clarke. A bronze casting demonstration held May 2008 at Glendarragh Studios, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. The object cast is a replica of a bronze age axe head.
"Umha Aois" (Irish for "Bronze Age") is an ongoing experimental project organised on a volunteer basis by a committee formed of artists & archaeologists. Through research and experimentation we are attempting to rediscover our Bronze Age ancestors' casting methods, and in the process empower the artists involved with unique approaches to working in bronze.
This video demonstrates our discovered techniques to date, using bellows to power a small charcoal fired furnace, melting bronze in a hand made crucible, and casting into a clay mould. The mould is broken open afterwards to reveal a typical Irish Bronze Age axehead.
Please note that although we are striving for "authenticity", some aspects are still in development, such as the lifting tongs, forged by Umha Aois member Mary Jane Verniere. Also we have not allowed "authenticity" to stifle any creative ideas, and as such we do not pretend that our methods reflect any specific time period or place, but rather we strive for a reproducible approach to working small scale bronze with 'primitive' technologies, taking the Irish Bronze Age as our main inspiration.
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