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Okra And Tomatoes, Meet Cast Iron

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

Beginning in 1882, Sloss Furnace produced iron.  It hasn't been making iron commercially in that same way for years, but it is open for artists to come and do their work -- and over the last week or two, my friend Suzanne and I have been there to make our own cast iron art.

They gave us each a sand mold for a platter, and onto that mold, we carved our designs.  Suzanne did a nice hand motif, and I decided to draw tomatoes and okra.  Of all the implements we could use, I drew most of mine with a large nail.

Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

Oh, and I can't draw, really, but you don't need an incredible amount of technical talent to do this kind of thing.  Some simple tomato shapes, okra pods, and a tomato slice:
Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL
The deeper you draw the outlines, the deeper the cast iron will sink in so that when it's cast, the lines pop out even more on the finished piece.

My favorite part of the surroundings was this safety sign:
Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

It was pretty dark when we left, which made looking back at where we had been even prettier:
Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

Early the next week, they did the pour and out came our cast iron platters.
Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

Cast Iron Platter I Made At Sloss, Birmingham AL

Suzanne's taking this further and is even attending a class on sculpture.  There's a listing of all the classes at the Sloss calendar.

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