What is it?
This is a homemade foundry. It's a foundry, not a forge, because a forge doesn't melt metal, just softens it.
What was the process?
This one was a process. I was in Singapore and knew nobody who could help and no places I could go. All the materials in this project were bought at a neighborhood paint store, a grocery store, or from around the house (except the crucible, didn't want to risk that breaking).
What did I learn?
Brilliant -- the foundry melted soda cans within seconds! The molding process still needs work, but at least this vaguely heart shaped item that I made didn't explosively vaporize any water.