CU Denver Sculpture Club creates iron pour art

March 14, 2011

An already warm pre-spring day got red hot as students, faculty, guest artists, and members of the local community gathered to create works of art cast in iron. From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. dozens unleashed their artistic side to create works of art ranging from tiles created on the spot to sculptures replicated, carved or modeled in wax.

Rian Kerrane, associate professor of visual arts in the College of Arts & Media, organized the event held at the Tivoli flagpole Thursday, March 10, on the Auraria Campus. Visiting artist Toby Flores, sculptor and professor from Fort Hays State University in Kansas, facilitated the iron pour performance.

Throughout the afternoon, the public took part in creating the tiles to be cast. The carvings were coated with graphite and rubbing alcohol in preparation for receiving 2,700 degree Fahrenheit molten iron. The choreographed event included continuously placing the coke, iron and limestone in the cupola and collecting 100lbs of molten iron every fifteen minutes in ladles, then pouring the iron into the molds.

The sculpture program teaches iron casting and mold making and the lost wax process of casting. Students cast the iron into ceramic shell and bonded sand molds. The iron pour was part of Iron Week in the College of Arts and Media and also featured sand tile carving workshops March 8 and 9 in the Arts Building on the Auraria Campus.

Students from the CU Denver Sculpture Club guided all participants through the steps of carving the tiles in preparation for the iron pour. The first 150 CU Denver students who attended the mold-making workshops were treated to a sand tile to carve. The public was able to purchase tiles to carve for $10 each.

The event was sponsored by CU Denver Live!, the University of Colorado Denver College of Arts & Media (CAM) and the CU Denver Sculpture Club.

Photos: Top, Rian Kerrane, right, helps a student balance her mold. Bottom, Toby Flores and Kerrane take a quick break for photo opps.