Earthcasting

I’m making art in concert with forces that are much bigger than me.
— Thomas Sayre
 Thomas Sayre's earthcast installation  Flue , a series of barn shapes formed by concrete cast in a furrowed field and pulled into place, is located in downtown Kinston, NC. © 2017 Bill Russ

Thomas Sayre's earthcast installation Flue, a series of barn shapes formed by concrete cast in a furrowed field and pulled into place, is located in downtown Kinston, NC. © 2017 Bill Russ

Earthcasting is a process developed by the American artist Thomas Sayre. Very large shapes are dug from the earth and filled with concrete mixed with iron oxide, along with structural supports. When the concrete cures, it is pulled up from the earth and permanently set in place. Earthcastings are often monumental in scale, as seen below in a recent installation for the town of Kinston in eastern North Carolina. The process requires a team of collaborators who inevitably influence the resulting sculpture with their own hands.

With these sculptural forms, Sayre seeks to capture the intersection between the forces of human creativity and those of nature. Where the artist pushes, gravity pulls. Where manmade concrete is poured, the earth presses back with a texture, pattern, and color of its own. 

A series of images below showcase some of the stages in the earthcasting process using the installation in Kinston as an example.

The full-length documentary Earthcaster by Minnow Media gives the full story of all of Thomas Sayre's sculptural projects. See the trailer below, or click here to watch the hour-long documentary on PBS. The documentary was recently picked up by WORLD television for broadcast on Sunday, June 25 at 9pm ET; Monday, June 26 at 1am ET (10pm PT on June 25), 9am ET, and 3pm ET; also Thursday, June 29 at 5am ET, 11am ET, and 4pm ET in major markets including Boston, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Other public television stations around the country will also feature the documentary over the next three years.

Earthcaster (2016) is an Emmy-nominated documentary about Thomas Sayre's sculptural work produced by Minnow Media. You can watch the hour-long documentary by clicking here. WORLD Television will broadcast Earthcaster nationally from June 25 through June 29, 2017.