F or the sixth straight year, college students from throughout the region will spend three days at Salem Art Works for the site’s annual intercollegiate iron pour.
Julie Ward, SAW’s foundry director, said it’s a chance for students and professors to get together, form bonds and make connections.
“Everyone throws themselves into it, and really amazing things happen,” Ward said of the event, which begins Sept. 21. “It really brings people together.”
The community is invited during the day Saturday and beginning at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. On Saturday, visitors will be able to watch the furnaces being fired and the molds being set. For $10, visitors can get a 4-inch-by-4-inch sand mold, carve words or designs into it, have it filled with molten metal and, after it cools, take it home.
“It will come out as something like a tile,” she said. “It’s a great way to get the public involved.”
On Sunday, visitors can watch the students’ work being taken out of the molds.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Matt Wicker, a Rochester artist, will talk about the cast-iron movement. At about 2 p.m., the group will start lighting the furnaces and the iron will be ready to pour between 4 and 5 p.m.
“The public is totally welcome,” Ward said. “We really want them to see what we’re doing, and the students will also have a gallery of their artwork – all kinds of art – in display. It will be a great time.”
Ward said she expects students and professors from Alfred, Skidmore, SUNY-Cortland, SUNY-Plattsburg, SUNY-Binghamton and Bennington. She said there should be about 85 students.
Ward will have the SAW furnace going, along with one from Alfred and there may be a third.
“The three will be running simultaneously and people from all the schools will be working them,” she said. “The community is very important. You cannot do it alone.