TAMU-CC’s Annual Iron Pour Turns Trash into Treasure

Students from other colleges get the iron mold ready so that melted iron can be poured on it.

The TAMU-CC Art and Design program turned up the heat on April 2 letting sparks fly as they hosted “Flowers of Fire,” the spring edition of the university’s annual iron pour.

Metal artists from the surrounding area attended the event and created molds to fill with molten iron. Robin Baker, a former TAMU-CC student who graduated in 2014 with his master’s in fine arts and sculpture, explained the process of turning overlooked scrap iron into sculptures.

“We take scrap cast iron such as bathtubs, radiators, and car parts, and smash them into little pieces. We then put them into our blast furnace, which melts it all down, and then we cast it into molds made by faculty, visiting artists, and graduate and undergraduate students in the art program,” Baker said.

Jenni Rodriguez, a senior fine arts student at TAMU-CC, attended the event for the second time, where she prepared a variety of molds for the iron to go into. “All of the iron is either donated or recycled. It is like we are giving them a new home,” Rodriguez said.

The pour attracted an audience in the Center for the Arts workshop, as pieces of iron and fuel made their way through the furnace and flowed out as a burning, thick liquid. “The initial pour is my favorite part because it is so action-packed, and you get so in the zone when you are working on it,” Rodriguez said.

Baker added that the best part is coming back and continuing to be a part of this community of sculptors.

“That’s the thing about cast iron; we are a pretty tight community. We end up making friends and creating everywhere we go, which is really cool,” Baker said. “To come back to TAMU-CC and help carry on the tradition of cast metal work with current students after graduating eight years ago is a really special thing to be a part of.”

For more information regarding TAMU-CC’s Department of Art and Design, please visit https://www.tamucc.edu/liberal-arts/departments/art-and-design/index.php.

To stay in the know about upcoming events hosted by the 3D Programs, visit https://www.instagram.com/tamucc3d/.