IS IT MAGMA?
No…but lava might be a better description. This website is dedicated to researching the possibilities of shaping and casting molten rock. Through alchemical experiments and support from geologists, volcanologists, artists, founders and materials scientists, artist, Jo Lathwood, will archive the potential of this unknown material.
This project started back in 2013 when I first asked myself a simple question –
“I wonder what temperature lava is?”
Expecting molten rock to be at extremely high temperatures, I was surprised and excited to discover that molten rock has a temperature ranging between 800 – 1200 Degrees Celsius. This is of course very hot but after a couple years of co-directing Ore and Ingot – a Travelling Bronze Foundry – I know these temperatures are not extreme and not beyond the capacity of the tools and equipment we use in the foundry. To paint a clearer picture, aluminium is molten at 660 degrees, bronze at 1050 degrees and iron around 1200 degrees.
My next problem would be how to master this new material. I had an idea of certain processes that I could use to manipulate and shape this new sculptural material but I did not have a geology or volcanology background. I needed scientists. To my delight, after contacting the Earth Sciences department in Bristol University I am now working with a selection of professors and technicians whose specialist knowledge is invaluable to the project.
– Jo Lathwood