Fireside tales 3 : Just add water

Fireside tales 3 : Just add water

The story begins here, and then here.

But to summarize : I got my hands on a furnace, and melted some glass and aluminum. It was supposed to sit in my studio, but for reasons long-forgotten, we stopped over and now it’s in my living room, to the overlapping amusement and chagrin of family, friends and assorted neighbours.

After several attempts at casting and recasting in a few mold I had created, we still had , thanks to Josh, quite a bit of raw aluminum left.

So we decided to do the most obvious, cheesiest thing, ever. Melt it and pour it into water. The stuff of YouTube legend. What have I become.



What followed was a realization of why this cliche was so popular. The action was interesting enough, but the resulting blobs and bits had beautiful textures, ripples, and nodules, made by the intense opposing forces playing across them, and reminding me, on a small scale, of the forces that shape the Earth to this day.

Here’s a photostudy of some of the nuggets.

A tiny bubble of Aluminium, maybe 10-15 mm across, with a smoother outer surface but an inner surface lines with tiny nodules and larger splashes. It has an extremely feature-rich edge formed by steam escaping and tearing the surface.

Another nugget. It must have been bigger, and stayed hotter for longer, since it’s formed a pillow-lava like formation that oozes extension from multiple points.

I am reminded of the brass spills I loved seeing and doing in Panchgani at Devraai’s rock-dokra studio, which is where, I have to admit, I caught the metal working bug. They toss the extra melt onto the ground where it flows for a few feet before solidifying. It’s something else - a flowing shape, a ragged, perforated texture, and random pebble and grass inclusions.

I little way to go before I try something like that. Or maybe I’ll pour some melt on a block of ice. Watch this space.