Well, I went to the Iron Pour this evening at the old Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul and it was a lot of fun. I entered a sand tile and it's probably full of molten iron at the moment and cooling down.
Enough chatter-here are the photos:
It was an overcast day but by evening, the weather had cleared. Here is a photo of the sunset over the brewery:
This way to the iron pour!
Iron pours involve melting a lot of scrap iron until it's liquid enough to pour into a mold. Here are two photos of the mold I created. This one is the design sketched out on the tile surface with a felt marker:
And this is what it looks like carved out:
Here is the general set up and a shot of the smelter. It's portable and it's set up specifically for the pour:
And here is one of "Vulcan's assistants." There are about 10 people who manage the smelter and help to set up:
Here is a photo of all the tiles and molds that will receive iron:
The iron is scrap iron-mostly broken up auto engines:
Here's more scrap to be used:
And buckets of coal that feed the smelter:
The smelter is being revved up in this photo and you can see one of the assistants in protective clothing:
These are molds that will be filled with molten iron and cooled. When the molds are removed, there will be a 3-D sculpture:
The fire is roaring! Iron melts at 2800 degrees and it becomes a pourable liquid the consistency of milkshake. The iron and coal are dumped into the cylinder and stirred around. As soon as it becomes liquid it pours out of the bottom into a superheated bucket and then it's poured:
Here you can see the tiles being filled up. The B-52s song "Rock Lobster" is blasting away in the background. It really adds to the ambiance:
And here is a whole line of freshly poured tiles:
Tomorrow I'll go and pick up my tile. I'll break away the sand mold and if everything goes well, I'll have an iron tile in it's place.
See you tomorrow,