Back in July, the Lanesboro Art Center sponsored an Iron Pour thanks to a Legacy grant and the expertise of Karl Unnasch. I was fortunate to be able to participate in the Iron Pour and here are some photos of the event and the piece I made. Originally, I'd hoped to make something to be the counter weight for my kiln door, but to simplify the event, they had pre-made mold blanks to a standard 6" round size. Not big enough for the kiln door but I still wanted to participate.
First we carved our design in molds made from sand and resin.
A couple days later, everyone's molds were placed in Sylvan Park around the furnace that would melt the scrap iron to become our plaques.
When the iron was melted, it was drained from the furnace into a bucket like thing with handles on both sides. Two people carried the molten iron to a line of mold and poured the iron from the bucket into the hole in the top of the molds. The entire process is super hot, they have to wear heavy protective equipment to prevent burns and to top it off it was in the mid-90s that day.
A day later the pieces had cooled enough to be opened up. They look a little rough with sand stuck to them and sharp edges. That is quickly fixed with a wire brush to remove the sand and a grinder to smooth the edges.
Last, they are polished with stove oil so they don't rust.
Here's my finished piece. Clearly, I'm not very talent when it comes to carving, but the event was so much fun. I sure hope they have this event again next year.