Cast: Art and Objects Book Review – An Exhaustive Reference Manual For Artists, Scholars and Designers

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CAST: Art and Objects Crated Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process, an exhaustive reference manual, captures the beauty and history of how our world is made utilizing the mastery of seven experts and 800 images to present an instructional resource.

Authors Jen Townsend and Renee Zettle-Sterling, experts each with diverse background in metal working, expanded on their lifelong passion to create a more in-depth resource on the 6,000 year old technique.

"Since the industrial revolution, casting's reputation has been in decline and unfortunately, it's now associated with cheap, mass produced knock offs. We understand why people think that way, but it's an over-simplification. Casting is a process just like any other, it can be done well or poorly and be the right or wrong choice in the creation of any given object, casting can be used to mass-produce plastic toys or in the creation of a one-of-a-kind Renaissance bronze. Casting has given us everything from statuary to toilets and bricks to wedding rings. It's influence on our world is hard to overstate," said Townsend, a jeweler and metal-smith.

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"All you have to do is flip through CAST to see how incredibly useful, diverse, and endlessly interesting casting can be," adds Zettle-Sterling, a professor of Three Dimensional Design, Jewelry, Metalsmithing and Sculpture at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.


CAST: Art and Objects Created Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process, published by Schiffer Publishing, also includes the explanations and writings of seven different experts who each expound on casting through Art History by Suzanne Ramljak, Large Scale Metal by Joseph Antenucci Becherer Ph.D.,  Ceramics by Ezra Shales Ph.D, Glass by Susie J. Silbert, Jewelry by Townsend and Alternative Materials by Elaine King.  

CAST: Art and Objects Created Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process also contains a glossary of artistic terms and terminology that in and of itself will enhance ones knowledge on the different terminology used in 3-D to Glass, from Frit which are small granules of glass, often colored,  which can be used to color clear glass to Pate de Verre, which comes from grinding glass into a fine powder. Wax to Equal attention is paid to Casting, Foundry, Ceramic, Plasters, Molds, and more.

At 442 pages CAST contains more than 800 images which are sourced through personal  and private collections, The Los Angeles County Museum, and other sources accompanying the scholarly work of our seven experts to create one of the first must have study manuals for students, designers and even seasoned and working Artists to compare, expand and refine technique and skill.

CAST is further divided into sub-section such as Focus on Transparency, Translucency and Light, Glass Casting, A history of Innovation, Casting Ceramic: A Psychologically Potent and Deeply Human Manuel Skill, Metal, Re-Renaissance Large Scale Casting Today. We also are treated to the Mindset of Casters, a unique introspective of what one can expect when one meets a Caster.

Within each discipline Metal, Glass, Ceramics the subsection of Function, and the question of where these objects fit into society or do they in the simplest form of which is now accepts, and the sites where are they made. The easiest explanation would be Ceramics. Outside of the home bath and Spa innovations and Kohler who manufactures these Ceramic fixtures,  where do Ceramics fit into society?

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One tidbit which brings casting to a level where all can relate, making molds, casting molds, is a simple as creating ice cubes, water is poured into a mold and a block is extracted.

Another example for Pastry Art's students, a latex balloon is rolled in liquid, tempered chocolate and set to dry; when the balloon is popped a edible chocolate bowl has formed.

And the final example: simply baking muffins. Pouring batter into a lined or unlined cupcake mold and after the appropriate time, the perfectly formed mold or muffin is extracted. Some casters have the additional pleasure of consuming and sharing the fruits of their labors.

A comprehensive and informative,  CAST: Art and Objects Created Using Humanity's Most Transformational Process is a must for every collector, designer, student and scholar collections and is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and through Schiffer Publishing.

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