CHISHOLM — There is excitement in the air at the Minnesota Museum of Mining where preparations have begun for an iron pour, scheduled for this week.
The Museum of Mining is partnering with Igneous Metal Arts of the Twin Cities and the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids for this year’s event. Participants will be able to carve their designs on sand molds, between 3:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday. There will also be time for carving starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Artists from Igneous Metals will melt old cast iron radiators in a coke-fired blast furnace, then pour the hot metal into molds carved out by participants to create cast iron art. Pouring is scheduled to begin Saturday at noon and will continue throughout the afternoon.
Carol Borich, Museum of Mining board treasurer and coordinator for the iron pour, told the Tribune Press last week that the museum is looking forward to another successful turnout. The iron pour, she said, is popular with both participants and spectators.
“It’s been increasing every single year,” said Borich, adding that there were 90 participants in 2018.
For the first time in its history, an artist in residency will be taking part in the iron pour.
Artist Athena LaTocha, a metal artist from Alabama, is planning on casting some large, random-splash type iron.
“They will melt cast iron and pour it into the sand, approximately where she wants it and let it splash,” Borich explained.
LaTocha’s work has been shown in venues across the U.S. Plans are to feature her metal work created during the pour in a summer exhibition at the Museum of Mining this year.
Members of the public wanting to participate in the iron pour are encouraged to prepay and reserve the size mold they wish to work with.
Participants have created a variety of designs in the past five years, including stepping stones, emblems, significant dates, house numbers, figures of butterflies and animals, to name a few.
Prices for the molds range from $30 to $70.
Student scholarships are available, lowering the price for students from $34 to $7 for students. This rate for students includes a mold carving class, material and museum admission. Students under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission is $6 for adults and is good for both Friday and Saturday.
It is recommended participants reserve and prepay for their mold. For more information, you may contact the Museum of Mining office at 218-254-5543.