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About

The Luted Crucible is a not-for-profit organization who’s stated aims are to:

  1. research, practice, and experiment with ancient casting techniques
  2. transmit knowledge through workshops, demonstrations and presentations
  3. research and publish books regarding historical foundry practices
  4. hold meetings and events around historic foundry techniques
  5. create other activities related to the previously mentioned

About the term luted crucible

From “The Luted Crucible, a Pre-Industrial Metal-Casting Process”

Many authors have written about this technique, or variations thereof, yet there has been no collective effort to give the process a specific name. It has been described as ‘the cire perdue method’ (Reeves, 1962) and ‘the lost-wax technique’ (Postel and Cooper, 1999), both of which lack specificity. The ‘Bastar technique’ (Mukherjee, 1966) and ‘Ashanti casting’ (Sias, 2005) suggest a geographical limitation that does not exist. Others simply use a description such as ‘enclosed mould and crucible’ (Hurst, 1996).

While the term ‘luted crucible’ is found in numerous documents dating from the 19th century, Katherine Hacker was the first to use this term to describe this particular technique, in her 2000 article ‘Traveling Objects: Brass Images, Artisans, and Audiences’. She writes, ‘Images created by the lost-wax technique are typically fired while a separate crucible of metal is heated in an adjacent kiln. In contrast, the images under study are produced by a “luted-crucible” technique.’ She then describes the same process as written about and/or witnessed by all of the aforementioned authors.

The verb ‘to lute’ means ‘to seal or cement with luting’, and the noun ‘luting’ means ‘any of various readily molded substances for sealing joints, cementing objects together, or waterproofing surfaces’. Finally, the word ‘lutum’ is Latin for mud, or clay. Thus, sealing the joint between a clay-based crucible and a clay-based mould with a clay-based and ‘readily molded substance’ makes sense, and ‘luted crucible’ would therefore appear to be the appropriate name for the technique. (Watson, 12-13)

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