Urban Crafts metals workshop

Last week I have participated in a workshop organized by the Dutch Crafts Council. During the whole week we have experienced with different metal techniques like metal casting and blacksmithing. An overview of what we produced!

The workshop took place in Ulft, in an old factory building where cast iron products were made in the past. In the province of Gelderland, the so called ‘ijzeroer’ ( a form of iron ore) can be found and this was the reason for the emergence of the iron industry here. In the woods in this region, still ‘ijzerkuilen’ (small iron pits) can be found, where iron ore was mined in the middle ages.

To simulate the historic process of iron smelting, a small charcoal based oven was built to extract the iron from the ore.

In a later stage, we have experimented with sand casting with different metals. As an homage to the iron casting industry in Ulft, I took wooden models that have been used to make the sand moulds for mechanical parts, giving them a new function as candle holders. We have also made some jewellery like forms, based on the shapes of the metal casting tools.

During the blacksmithing workshop I have created a spoon from an industrial piece of steel, showing the man-made spoon on one side and the industrial half product on the other.

David Derksen