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SIU School of Art and Design iron pour is Saturday

Molten bronze poured into mold by melter in foundry workshop
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CARBONDALE, Ill. — Art students in the sculpture program in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Art and Design will host their free, fall iron pour, beginning at noon Saturday, Nov. 5.

Those attending will have the chance to create their own cast iron art pieces using scratchblocks, tiles comprising resin-bonded sand used in creating molds. The festivities will also include other activities, such as live T-shirt printing by Southern Illinois Printworks, and Raku fired artworks by Southern Clay Works throughout the day, as the sculpture, ceramics, blacksmithing, and printmaking areas within SIU collaborate. A small art gallery will be set up for viewing at the foundry complex, 1520-1560 W. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale. Seating is on first-come, first-served basis, and guests are encouraged to bring their own seating. Activities begin at noon and run until finished, which is from 5-7 p.m. depending on the number of molds being poured.

Olivia Warro, a Master of Fine Arts student in art, said the event is an opportunity to watch the casting process and behind-the-scenes work involved. Those attending will see a running furnace — fire and molten metal included — with hot iron poured into ladles, which SIU students then use to transfer the molten metal into molds.

Warro said that since fifth century B.C. pouring hot iron into casting molds “has been a trademark of art and industry. From fabulous architectural feats to one-of-a-kind objects meant for gallery display, iron’s range of uses is seemingly limitless.”

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