“Remarks from the Workbench” series (including both hands-on demos and discussion):
Plaines Bloomery: Steelmaking using the Brick Tatara
Demonstrator: Wayne E. Potratz, Professor and Scholar of the College, Art Department, University of Minnesota.
Professor Potratz will show images from Japan and speak about the traditional clay tatara used to make “Tama-hagane” [High Carbon Blade Steel] and how the brick tatara differs from the traditional furnace. The demonstration will show construction of the brick tatara, preparation of the charcoal bed, firing, and adding iron ore to the tatara. The expected bloom will weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. The bloom will be extracted and forged hot by two blacksmiths. This process can be slightly modified to also produce pig iron for casting.
Performance on the Prairie
Several performance artists will converge at the conference to discuss their particular brand of art making. These artists will be describing the work they plan to execute at the WCIAC Performance Pour. The day following the discussion, opportunities to experience the preparation these artists engage, the performance itself, and the results of those performances will be open for consideration and guided inspection for conference attendees in the shop and on the performance foundry floor.
Confirmed participants for this presentation: David Lobdell, and Brad Allen (more to come).
You’ll have an opportunity to see hands on demos of processes that aren’t documented in print and are unavailable anywhere else. Details of the demo schedule are still being worked out, so make sure you get on our mailing list to get information and schedules as it all takes final form.