Housed behind the historic brick walls of the former Carey Lumber Building, The Crucible Foundry is a reflection of the University community that surrounds it. The Crucible Foundry offers all of the following services: Enlargements and Reduction, Silicone/Urethane Molds, Lost Wax Casting, Alpha-Cure/Set Sand Casting, Patina, Refurbishing and Repair, Freight and Installation.
With a graceful mix of art and science, The Crucible uses the latest innovations in the lost-wax method and alpha-cured/set sand casting to perform the ancient art of casting monumental bronze sculpture.

Artisans with a broad range of backgrounds make up the foundry's youthful staff of more than a dozen workers. The Crucible's team combines seasoned foundry men with creative workers whose careers have run the gamut from music and masonry to gunsmithing and tattoo artistry.

Through their experiences they understand the creative process and are dedicated to each sculpture they mold and cast.
From high-tech digital enlargement in the mold-making rooms to the cavernous bays where the bronze is poured, cooled and colored with chemicals, the artisans use a mix of ancient principals and modern equipment to produce the highest quality products possible.
The foundry's artisans cast original sculptures from across the nation as well as replicas of existing bronze work. While the foundry handles art of all sizes and styles, the artisans specialize in monumental pieces.

In fact, The Crucible is one of only three art foundries in the United States that use ceramic shells to cast large pieces, some weighing more than 600 pounds.

The light-weight ceramic silicon that The Crucible uses to cast bronze is the same heat-resistant compound NASA uses in the exterior tiles which protect the space shuttle. The relatively thin material allows molten bronze to cool quickly and at a uniform rate, ensuring an efficiently crafted and high-quality product.
High quality, pride in workmanship and the complete satisfaction of the artists are The Crucible's primary objectives.

That ambition has driven The Crucible's designers to use the most technologically advanced equipment and to employ the most effective methods available in the craft today.
From its powerful induction furnace that can melt 900 pounds of bronze at a time to the foundry's giant, hand-made kiln, The Crucible is fashioned for quality no matter the size of the assignment.
The foundry's inductomatic furnace heats bronze to a range of 1,900 to 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit. The size of its crucible allows artisans to fill one large ceramic shell with the fiery bronze or make several small pours.
To meet their needs in casting monumental sculpture, artisans at The Crucible engineered and built their own kiln to handle the biggest projects.
At more than 250 cubic feet, The Crucible's kiln is the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi River. The heat - which builds to 1,750 degrees Fahrenheit - allows artisans to dewax and fire large ceramic shells in a short amount of time. The quick process minimizes stress on the ceramic material, ensuring that it maintains its casting integrity.
The crucible's 900 pound capacity makes a higher quality product possible when casting monumental sculptures. The ability to make larger pours means fewer divisions are needed in the original sculpture, which allows the finished product to be more reflective of the artist's work.
While Crucible artisans employ power, size and technology in their craft, their hands are what preserves the spirit in the artist's creation.

If an artist is the sculpture's master, then the foundry man is its steward. Whether it's a gentle refinement in the texture of a wax casting or the careful removal of imperfections after the bronze has cooled, The Crucible foundry's process is laced with the subtleties of craftsmanship.

Please contact Mark Palmerton, Owner, at, with any questions.

Select this button to view a slide show of a bronze casting.
Select this button to view a slide show of pictures taken around the Foundry

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