You may already know I'm a junkie for artist's process. It's my primary muse for fiction. I have a soft spot for sculpture and the tangibility of getting up in there with one's materials. Especially if the materials are transformed by fire!
If you've never seen aluminum sand-casting, check this out. It's a concept similar to the making of sand candles on the beach. Often a one-off project can be made by carving a piece of styrofoam, embedding it in a bucket of sand (WITH proper ventilation--styrofoam vapor is no joke!) and pouring in liquid aluminum to burn away the styrofoam and take on its shape.
This little foundry can be made at home! Recycling! Fun!