Monday, December 24, 2007

2007 Experimental Overviews Available

I have been plugging away over the last week taking the various raw data from the 2007 smelt season and getting it formated up for publication on the web site.

First - I have added the 'short form' overview to the series. The new 2007 information (with representative image) can be now seen at:

Second - Working ahead to the research that is planned for this winter, I have taken all our past data and put all the (currently) significant variables into one huge table. This is a bit of a pain to view because of the large number of elements listed for each smelt. It does relate details on furnace, ore, charcoal, process and results.

Neil is also currently in the process of re-designing the entire DARC web site, using a new layout that I think everyone will see as a great improvement.
(He has asked to hold the URL release until he has had time to work over the sub sections to the new graphic format.)

One thing you will see on comparing the two lists of experiments: In the past there had been some confusion over numbering. To the end of 2007, I make my own count at 28 smelts. I include in this all those that I felt I undertook a significant role. Just what 'significant' means is largely in the eye of the beholder. I have actually been at least marginally involved in a number of other smelts - those were I was more of an observer than active participant. This includes those where Lee and Skip were conducting the action.
I have always tried to distinguish clearly between the DARC series of smelts as being those where DARC resources in terms of manpower and raw materials have driven the experiment. For that reason I have not considered the 2005 OABA sponsored smelt at Wareham as part of the DARC series for example. This even though Neil was actually one of the team participating, with Ken Cook as lead charcoal monkey.
So my definitive list of smelt experiments lists DARC has undertook a total of 13 experimental smelts. Members of the group (Gus / Kevin / Dave / Darrell) also traveled to Virginia in 2002 to observe Skip and Lee at a public demonstration, but although we did participate with some grunt work on that smelt, it is not counted as part of the series.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Expanded Smelt Data

I have been working over the data from past smelts - in an effort to see just where we stand to map out the 2008 experiment series.

Although the size of the resulting table is quite awkward, all the recorded variables have been posted up on my own iron smelting web site HERE.

This may prove only of interest to the real hard core iron smelting people. The table records furnace details, ore, charcoal, blooms and slag for all 29 (!) of the smelts I have undertaken to the end of 2007.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Easier than Smelting!

Uncovering the Secrets of Ireland's Ancient Breweries

Vandy had sent me a link earlier to a short piece on YU-Tube related to this same project. In short a large wooden trough set in the ground is filled with water and your ingreadients. Hot stones are added to bring the mix to a bowl. Pour into covered containers (barrels or large pots). Wait a couple of days.

Could not be easier...


(who is well known for the ceremonial Guinness AFTER a smelt!)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Terrorism is NOT Art

I try not to get into too much political commentary here - but this one I could not let go by...

RIP: An obituary for shock art

Fake bomb didn't bring down the ROM, but it did mark the passing of an artistic era. Fact is, there's little left that can rouse us from our comfortable numbness

Christopher Hume
Urban Issues columnist

Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson's bomb wasn't real, but it might as well have been.

When the 24-year-old Ontario College of Art and Design student placed a fake explosive device – he called it a "sculpture" – inside the main entrance of the Royal Ontario Museum last week, he confirmed something that everyone outside the art world has known for awhile, namely that art has lost its power to shock.
So it's not at all surprising that Jonsson insists he'd do it all again; it was, after all, art. And he, don't forget, is an artist.

Yes, he admits he had no idea that his project would elicit a full-scale emergency response ... "

Hardly - This was terrorism.

Despite what the so called 'artist' thinks he may have been making as a statement, he remains a terrorist. Nothing more. Jail him as anyone else attempting to bomb - to terrorize - would be.

Forget a grand defense based on the history of art. Only a self absorbed fool would expect that planting something that looks like a bomb in a public setting would be seen as anything less than an extreme threat to public safety in our modern world.

I note the reviewer completely ignores the huge loss of both up front cash and hoped for charity donations that this 'art' inflicted on to the fund raising effort planned for the ROM that same day. I doubt any of those people see any value in this 'art'.

This is nothing more that the worst possible extension of the kind of garbage that has come out of OCA since before I was a student there in the 70's. It was crap then - and its even more pathetic crap now.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

'Gangue aux Fer' - on Early Iron

Expedition Magazine

University of Pennsylvania Museum

3260 South Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6324

Tel: (215) 898-4124

Fax: (215) 573-2497

Volume 49, Number 3

Winter 2007


Adventures in Experimental Smelting--Iron the Old-fashioned Way

Elizabeth G. Hamilton

Elizabeth is one of the consistent participants in the EARLY IRON series of symposiums. At Early Iron 3 (2006) she interviewed Lee, Skip, Mike and myself. This article is the result. The link will give you a direct download of the article as a PDF.

February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

COPYRIGHT NOTICE - All posted text and images @ Darrell Markewitz.
No duplication, in whole or in part, is permitted without the author's expressed written permission.
For a detailed copyright statement : go HERE