Casting a Winter Ant Colony with Molten Zinc (Cast #058)04:33

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Published on January 26, 2017

In this video I cast a winter ant colony with molten zinc. Winter Ants (Prenolepis imparis species) are very active in the winter and usually have a single colony entrance with a long thin tunnel leading to pad like chambers fairly deep in the ground. I was not aware of this type of ant until I started this project and they first caught my attention last winter, being the only ants that were actually active at near freezing temperatures. The are also known as false honey ants.

The tunnels are very narrow, being only around 3/16″ in diameter on average. I used zinc on this cast because it tends to stay in a liquid state for longer than aluminum, so it can really flow deep through the deep and narrow tunnels.

The final cast is 40″ (3′-4″) deep, which is by far the deepest colony that I have cast so far. The chambers are fairly small being only around 3.5″ at their widest. The final cast is mounted on an oak board with supports for the cast at various places along the cast. The narrow tunnels broke in several places when I was digging it up, so I had to mount it in a way that pieced it together and used glue at several places.

See detailed pictures of the resulting display at

depo 25 bonus 25

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