I love that roar at the end of the cool down. It's a special sound like no other.
Then you get to see what you have. It is very exciting.
I learned all my Japanese alloy skills from Ford's pics. Well before we ever got to see it live, I had paid very close attention to his pictorial. And, with a bit of help from the gang, and a lot of luck, I was able to create a good bit of Shibuichi, shakudo, and dirty copper. It is a kind of fun you can only have when you are doing something like this. It is very special in many ways.
Ford, you have carried forth a unique skill in alloy casting. A nearly lost art. Now there is a bit of a revival. IT WAS ALL YOU!
And the Masters that handed it down to your Masters.
You know better than anyone, that it isn't just the knowledge of the process that matters. There are thousands of variables that go on with every smelt. It is the experience, of how to control these variables, that only come with doing and experimentation and the special hints passed on by masters like you, that allow true success with these metals.
I remember when I first cast some successful ingots, I asked you how common it was in Japan. You said that there were very few people in the world still making tsuba ingots in this way. And, after doing a half dozen "pounding down the mountains"
I understood why. Very few people in this modern world are willing, or able, to do this process. It takes a real passion to do this. You turned me on to that passion of the world of Japanese alloys, and for that I will always be grateful.
You released this knowledge back into the world with your Tiger vids. There are likely many artists in this world now playing with Japanese water casting. Most are not likely doing it right, but knowledge that was nearly lost to time, has been returned to the world. When your dvd's come out, many more will try. Some will get the passion to continue, others will find it far to difficult to get right.. But those that do, will make it a much less lost art then it was.
You should be proud of that.
Gee, just thinking about it makes me want to melt some copper
It's all your fault.
Keep up the good work of educating the world to nearly lost arts.