Casting a Fire Ant Colony with Molten Aluminum (Cast #043)

author Anthill Art   5 год. назад

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Five Fire Ant Colony Casting Session Part 3: Casts 4 & 5

Here are the last two casts of the five aluminum fire ant colony casting session. I thought that attempting to cast five colonies in one session and showing the result, regardless of the cast quality, would highlight the difficulty of doing casts; however, 3 of the 5 are probably among the best casts I've ever done. So, I guess I'm just getting much better at doing this. The fourth colony cast turned out great. Like the others in the session (except the 2nd), I captured a large amount of the above ground hill, which is very difficult normally. It turned out 20.5 lb. This one was on display at the La Habra Children's Museum in California. It was very late on the third night of casting and digging, and I was honestly dreading doing the final cast. After finishing the fourth cast, I shined my flashlight on the last colony to assess it and realized that I had stepped in it. At first I was relieved that it was ruined and I couldn't possibly cast it. Then, the idea of casting the shoeprint came to me and I just couldn't call it a night without giving that a try. The shoeprint looked cool with the classic converse tread pattern. I had to basically recreate the shoeprint in place with sand, and build up the edges so that it would cast properly. I also broke up some sticks and spelled out "AHA" (abbreviation for Anthill Art) on the shoeprint that would "inscribe" that in the final cast. I shined up the final cast and painted in the AHA. While not a professional cast by any means, but I think it turned out pretty cool. It will make a cool little wall plaque for my workshop. The finished ant colony cast can be seen here: Part 1 is here: Part 2 is here: Support Anthill Art by donating at

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An incredible metal structure is made by pouring molten aluminum into a fire ant colony. The resulting cast is huge, weighing 17.9 lbs. and reaching a depth of 18 inches.

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These are the red imported fire ants (RIFA) which are harmful to the environment and their nests are exterminated by the millions in the United States using poisons, gasoline and fire, boiling water, and very rarely molten aluminum.

From Wikipedia: "Researchers have also been experimenting with extreme temperature change to exterminate RIFAs [red imported fire ants], such as injecting liquid nitrogen or pressurized steam into RIFA nests. Besides using hot steam, pouring boiling water into ant mounds has been found effective in exterminating their nests."

I did a casual survey and found that I have at least 120 of these colonies within an area of approximately three acres.

See detailed pictures of the resulting cast on the Anthill Art website at

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