The primitive man knew and used before the terrestrial iron, the meteoritic one. But the metals in his opinion even they come from the earth even they had heavenly origins had magical forces that is why not anybody could work with them.
In China and India, the melting pots, and the initiates, those who know the rituals, kept around them a sacred area which was powered and guarded by magical forces.
It exists a priestly caste, which was taking care and executing the metallurgical works and kept the secrets regarding the technologies, which were transmitted orally.
In Asia, building a foundry was an issue of virtue and had to be done by a pure man who was familiar with the rites of the craft.
I will not continue with a cultural history of metallurgy, even it would be interesting, because it is a very rich palette of rites and symbols.
But the connection between the mineral substances and Mother Earth is obvious. What is common in all of them is that founders recall a magical-religious experience specific to substances. This experience is very strongly related to their heritage and the secrets are transmitted by initiation rites.
The lively and sacred material is transformed by a technological process which has at his base another live and sacred element: Fire.
Being trained as sculptor, since I was a student I worked with fire and wax having more the 20 years’ experience in bronze casting. The work was founded mostly upon the so called wax-losing process. During it the form which is originally made by wax, and covered in a refractory material, is put in an oven where it burns three days and nights at a certain degree. In this period of time, the wax form which will be cast slowly melts and then burns out completely no matter the size. In the empty place founder pour the melted bronze in, which is melted in a crucible separately.
This is the reason why work with wax and encaustics is so familiar to me. From this background reaching the Madonna-candles was one step which took a long time though.
The theme of Madonna’s came to me since my childhood, where due to a very religious grandmother we had in our home highly guarded and worshipped a statue which is now mine. I was always thinking of it as goddess and never have the smallest reason to doubt in her powers. Since ten years now I write and think different projects related to this issue, where most of them implicate fire and transformations.
Reka Csapo Dup