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I Cast Iron: Sara Giordano

I cast iron because it’s not precious.

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Hi, I’m Sarah Giordano and I’m an artist based in Brookline, Massachusetts. I’m a recent grad of Mass College of Art in the Jewelry and Metalsmithing program and I first learned about the existence of iron casting from an alumni before I attended MassArt and then I had the opportunity to take the foundry class and try the process. I loved it and it was so different from anything I’d done before and the community around it is amazing and it’s so much fun.

So, as sort of a jeweler by trade, I tend to work quite conservatively and the materials I work with are considered precious or semi-precious and can be quite expensive. I work in a way that uses a lot of planning and precision and I know exactly what I’m going to get because I need to know exactly what I need going in and iron casting is quite different in that aspect. All of our material is recycled. It’s free; it’s just labor, basically, and then there’s the process which can be quite unpredictable. You never quite know what you’re going to get out of it and I really enjoy that; actually, it’s freeing in a way.

So, something that I am already doing and would really want to continue doing is combining the worlds of jewelry and iron casting and seeing where that takes me and seeing if I can push the scale of iron actually smaller and using the unpredictability of the material combined with my really precise planning of jewelry and seeing where that takes me.

So, I love casting iron because I can experiment, I can allow for more mistakes and then embrace them and then, most importantly, because it’s not precious but in the best way possible.

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Duration:
2 minutes, 7 seconds

Hear Sara Giordano, a Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) Iron Corps student, talk about why she casts iron.

Exhibits

Cast iron plaque with the words " I cast iron because it's not precious" on it
Precious

Sara Giordano

As a jeweler by trade, most of the materials I work with are “expensive.” There is a lot of thought given to the treatment of these materials, the cost, the conservation, and the purity. Due to these constraints, the work tends to be much smaller and well planned out.

I work with cast iron as an escape from that way of thinking because it is the absolute antithesis of jewelry.
An oversized cast iron ring with an orange patina
Extrinsic Value

Sara Giordano

The value of coke in the cast iron process is immeasurable.

Though it’s completely destroyed during the casting process, it would be impossible to create anything without it. We rely on it to melt the medium but it’s never actually seen afterwards.

This piece pays homage to the material that, though also a carbon, is nowhere near as valuable as a diamond on its own, but is valuable because of what it can help make.

Last updated: February 8, 2021