Mystic River Foundry is a small foundry and when the molds that are to be poured are prepared it is time to fire the furnace and get down to melting metal.  Larger operations might have their furnaces running on a more full time basis. The furnace is sunk into the floor and is powered by a humongous oil burner.  Sharon is lowering the crucible into the furnace before it is lit off.  Once it lit you wouldn't want to be standing over it as she is here without  protective clothing.  Even with the proper gear I don't think I would want to try it. 

The crucible is made of a ceramic material and can withstand many cycles of room temperature to 1800 plus Fahrenheit.  

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