Community Collaboration Hot Metal Pour

DSCN2744IHeat up your summer and come to Franconia Sculpture Park as it hosts its 18th Annual Community Collaboration Hot Metal Pour on Saturday, August 2nd from 10am-8pm.

This sizzling experience includes both the opportunity to see professional sculptors create unique metal art and create a mold that will become your own cast iron sculpture. Be sure to join the hundreds of visitors who attend to be a part of this artistic melting pot.

IMG_4244VLed by artists Tamsie Ringler, MN, professor at St. Catherine University, and Rian Kerrane, CO, associate professor at University of Colorado Denver, along with 8 Hot Metal Artists and 3 Hot Metal Intern Artists, you’ll be sure to see some amazing works by the end of the day, as well as create your very own sculpture.



IMG_4216TThe exciting process begins with the mold-making process. Prior to the iron pour, attendees were invited to community mold-making workshops on July 30th and 31st. Community members created one-of-a-kind works of art and learned about the process of casting iron.



First, Franconia staff and Hot Metal Interns create sand molds by mixing sand and catalyst-bonded resin, then let them set in to hardened blocks.These flat, open-faced molds can then be etched and scratched by community members. Once you, the artist, finish your design, Franconia staff and Hot Metal Interns coat the inside of the molds with a mold-wash that helps the iron release easily from the sand; its almost like coating a baking pan with butter. Once mold-washed, the sand mold is ready to be poured by professional artists who come from around the world to participate in Franconia’s Community Collaboration Hot Metal Pour! Once cooled and unmolded, the finished project will be a tile-like sculpture ready to be exhibited. Visit Franconia’s website to learn more about the mold making process.

DSCN2809QThings really heat up on Saturday August 2nd. The Hot Metal Artists melt recycled iron in a cupolette (furnace) to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. When the iron has been broken down and released, the glowing liquid metal flows into a 150-pound ladle, to be poured into your sand mold. There will be about 8,000 pounds of liquid metal poured during this exciting event.

DSCN2775LFor those who want the extra thrill of creating their own sculpture, sand molds are available for purchase. Reserve your place and sand mold today by calling 651-257-6668. Mold prices are $25, $40, and $75, depending on size. Make sure to purchase your flat mold prior to the event, or else bright and early on Saturday morning. The workshop on the day of the pour begins at 10am, all molds should be completed and ready to pour by 4pm, so mold sales will end at 3pm. For more information, email, or call 651-257-6668.


IMG_0677Curious about the sculptures our Hot Metal Artists are creating? Stay tuned for a future blog post detailing their process during their two-week Hot Metal Residency and the final works they create. Check out their sculptural work and websites here:

2014 Hot Metal Artists
Allison Baker, RI
Scott Berels, MI
Jason Brown, TN
Yousif Del Valle, MN
William Fillmore, CA
Harry Gold, NY
Leekyung Kang, South Korea
Rian Kerrane, CO
Tamsie Ringler, MN

2014 Hot Metal Interns
Sarah Dorau, IL
Holly Kelly, MA
Woody Stauffer, MN

IMG_0712To add to the festivities, the contemporary  ‘found object’ percussion band, Savage Aural Hotbed, will perform at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:00 pm,  so get away and make a day  of it at Franconia, the art hub  of the St. Croix River Valley! Food and drinks are available for purchase.

This activity is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.ECRAC and ACH


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