Friday, July 1, 2011

Pounding Sand

It's an interesting observation how we can develop an irrational affection for inanimate objects. I just got done mixing and mulling green molding sand for my casting class. At the end of the process, I can't get over how goddamn cute, and... delicious that pile of sand was. When I pressed a clump in my hand, and like a faithful and loyal pet, it reproduced my palm and finger lines exactly, I was just overwhelmed with a feeling of joy and... gratitude.

Silly, isn't it. And yet, I've experienced this feeling,  this little hairs rising on the forearms, this sharp inhalation of breath, this sudden need for some type of jism deflector to avoid a soiling from a potential mild mini-orgasm, every time I get a good mix.

Mind you, I'm the one doing all the work. I could build a muller, but space is at a premium at the college. And so I mix by hand and by shovel. The recipe is simple. 100 lbs of play sand ( I'll use olivine sand if I can get it, which I can't), 6% bentonite by weight, add water to suit. The current batch had been sitting in a barrel since May. The top was dried out. The bottom still moist. A good turning and adding just a few handfuls of water got it back up to snuff.

I have a further irrational conviction that a really nice molding sand for casting metals requires some forehead sweat in it. I can provide copious amounts of that as needed. I have been told that I am the second sweatiest person on the planet. It takes mere micro-ergs of effort on my part in order for sweat to pour from me. I kind of consider that healthy.

One final act before I put the sand back into the barrel for the next casting class. I make a little sand castle. Childish? Nope. Child like!

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