Tuesday, February 25, 2014

VOLCANO FURNACE : Pedvale Open Air Art Museum, Latvia

Working Maquette of Volcano Furnace: Fire Earth Work
'Volcano Furnace : A Fire + Iron Earthwork' by Coral Penelope Lambert will be built and operated during Midsummers as part of the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art held at the Pedvāle Open-Air Art Museum in Latvia from June 19th through June 24th 2014.

Join us for the 'Blast Off' on the eve of June 23rd including fire performances:

'Volcano Furnace Firing' designed and operated by Coral Penelope Lambert with the assistance of the sparkling 'Iron Fire Spirits' Students from Alfred University National Casting Center Foundry : Ronda Phipps, Daniel Totten, Ripley Nichols, Hannah Schilsky, Michelle Kwiecien, Lily Montgomery and Erik Nilson.
'Tree of the Dawn' by Danielle Jenson.  
'Alzheimer's Iron Garden' by Rose Oakman, Haley Jenlinek and Elise Betrus. 
'Flight of the Phoenix' by Cynthia Handel, Suzzanne Roewer, Jenny Hager and Andreas Glaser. 


The theme for the 7th ICCCIA is Coalessence: Iron Forming Art, Ritual and Landscape, at the Pedvāle Open-Air Art Museum, reflecting the significance of the exchange and cultural coalescence, while emphasizing the integration of iron sculpture into the landscape and the realization of iron-based ritual performance art projects during the Jaņi 'midsummer' celebration. 

LANDSCAPE : The 'Volcano Furnace' is a 13ft earthwork and functioning iron furnace embracing the spirit of land and celebrating forces of nature. Built primarily of earth, clay, stone and wood I will be making a conscience effort to use appropriate technology and local materials. Construction of the interior of the furnace and earth moving will begin on site at Pedvale in early June. The 'Volcano Furnace' will be fired with coke and air, molten iron at temperatures up to 2700 farenhiet will flow from three channels into three molds cut from rock boulders. The boulders are sited at the front, left and right of the Volcano earth work. The Volcano Furnace will remain on site with the iron castings at the foot for visitors to the park to enjoy for years to come.

IRON FORMING ART : The 'Volcano Furnace' will be operated on June 23rd by Coral Lambert and her crew from The National Casting Center Foundry at Alfred University, New York to melt 900# of iron. The molten iron will flow out of three tunnels cut into the earth at the center of the Volcano, the iron will be cast into molds cut from stone boulders, the slabs of iron form diamond shapes speeding up the work of nature as crystals that have been form over eons. These slabs of diamond shaped iron will remain as an artifact of the event.
 

RITUAL : The 'Volcano Furnace' will provide a platform for an evening of performance and ritual during midsummer on June 23rd. As Iron and coke is charged it has to be carried up the mountainside, the effort is laborious and carried out by many 'spirits'. 'Climbing up the mountainside : We unfolded space together' is the act and art of charging melting and tapping the furnace choreographed into a dance of labor.


The story begins with an inspiration from Latvian Mythology based on Saule, the goddess of the sun and the 'Tree of the Dawn' choreographed by Danielle Jenson. Outside the garden a girl is lost as a metaphor for sick or dying. She finds guidance from the Volcano spirit to earn passage to the tree to find saule. To gain passage she must give offerings to the Volcano, she gives charges to the 'spirits' of the furnace. As she gets closer to completing her task her struggle becomes great, her binds are pulled.  When she is granted passage her struggles lighten momentarily. When she arrives at the tree she attempts to light a small fire to call saule. Her failure and dying is represented by spirits coming forward and pulling a layer off of her bodice and covering her with it. After she passes saule appears represented by the burning tree.

The garden to the right of the furnace where the 'Tree of the Dawn' is sited is also the site of blue flower plantings. The plantings take place throughout the charging of the furnace. The plantings are forget-me-nots a symbol of remembrance. This part of the performance is enacted by the Alzhemiers Iron Project. Spectators are invited to plant a seeds in remembrance of a loved one.

The first tap and flow of molten iron from the Volcano Furnace will light the 'Tree of the Dawn' whilst also casting the diamond slab of iron on the garden side, bringing the earth and Saule to life. Plantings begin in the garden.

The second tap of molten iron will flow to the front of the Volcano Furnace, bringing forth spectators, inviting them to warm themselves and warm food and water on the slab.


The third and final tap of molten iron casts into the overflowing slabs of rock to the right of the furnace as the base of the steps. During which a procession begins, a rising of the 'Flight of the Phoenix' choreographed and designed by Cynthia Handel, Jenny Hager and Suzzane Roewer. The 8ft phoenix references the Mercurial Bird, a symbol for the volatility of alchemy and revered for its profound powers. Its wings will spread as if for the first time in a thousand years and dancers will emerge, awakening the bird from the ashes. Equipped with the token symbols of the mercurial bird, the will give reinvigorate its magic, power and presence. The phoenix in all its glory atop the Volcano Furnace will eventually be ignited and become engulfed in flames. As the phoenix burns away, dancers will emerge from the
furnace to create a fire dance using fire fans as wings. When the fire dancers
wings burn out, the 'spirits' will collect remains such as ashes to be placed on the last hot iron diamond slab.



All again is calm, the dormant 'Volcano Furnace' earthwork will remain a charged site along with skeletal remnants of the 'Tree of the Dawn' and 'The Flight of the Pheonix' at Pedvale Open Air At Museum for future visitors to enjoy.

1st BLAST OFF : WORKING MAQUETTE by Coral Lambert on Feb 15th 2014 at the National Casting Center Foundry, Alfred University, New York.





Cast Iron Sculpture and Working Maquette of teh 'Volcano Furnace' with crew at the National Casting Center Foundry at Alfred University.

PLANS + DRAWINGS
Plasticene Model of an initial rendition of the Volcano Furnace Earthwork
Phoenix Rising mechanism
Phoenix engulfed in flames at the top of the furnace



'Tree of the Dawn' costume by Danielle Jenson

'Flight of the Phoenix' Fire Dancer Costume by Cynthia Handel

We hope you can join us! The International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art at Pedvale provides an unprecedented  cultural exchange between the international cast iron sculpture movement in contemporary art, and the Latvian academic and professional sculpture tradition and community. The mission of the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art is to “create an international platform for the exploration and practice of contemporary cast iron sculpture and to inspire global participation in the aesthetic, conceptual, cultural, historical, and technical dialogue on contemporary cast iron art.” 

Founded in 1988, Six successive conferences have occurred once every four years encompassing the scope, history and aesthetic possibilities of the cast iron medium to the creative practice of contemporary artists.

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