Aristotle furnace workshop

I’ve just spent the weekend at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden making and firing an Aristotle furnace.

aristo

The furnace is a very ancient way (Aristotle writes about it) to produce iron blooms.

On the first day we made the furnace from an equal mix of horse poo, sand and clay and dried it with a gentle wood fire.

aristodry

On the second day I ran three firings – one with mild steel, one with farm scrap and one with a mild steel and scrap mix.

aristofire

bloom3bloom2

The final firing broke the furnace, so I need to source some horse poo.

It was amazing to be able to smelt steel with handmade equipment, charcoal and air (from a leaf blower).

The workshop was a follow on from Turf to Tools a project recreating ancient tool-making techniques.

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