For a while I worked at the Pratt Fine Art Foundry in Seattle. I really enjoyed working with metal. I had started with (gas) welding steel, but when I found out how much fun working with bronze was, I was hooked. I worked at developing skills with various styles, many times using natural objects instead of wax models. I cast apples, banana, onion, artichoke, and small trees. I tried casing a trout once, but that didn’t work so well. And the folks in the foundry claimed that when it was in the kiln, it attracted all the neighborhood cats (not likely).
Below is one of my favorites: my hand. I made a model by dripping hot wax from a candle on my hand until it was covered and when the wax was cool and hardened, carefully removed my hand. Then I poured the art wax into the model, removed the candle wax and cast what was left. I was quite pleased with the fact that most of the skin texture and fingerprint patterns showed up.
Unfortunately, all the plaster dust just gave me one sinus infection after another and I had to retire my foundry work.