Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 15 Portland Enters the Iron Age: an Iron Pour

The Iron Age began in various parts of the world between about 2000 and 300BC and is considered to have persisted until the rise of the great civilizations such a the Greeks and the Han Dynasty. Yet it has not yet come to Portland. That changes Saturday, with Portland Iron's First Iron Pour.

It is something that has been going on for a few years at art schools. Artists (you) prepare sand molds. A furnace is charged with ferrous scrap and coke, heated to 2800F and the resulting molten iron is poured into molds. Crude but effective.

Our profligate consumption of steel ensures that we don't need to make metal from iron ore, as did our ancestors, simplifying the process immensely. We have that advantage and the advantage of leisure time to contemplate aesthetics.

If you want to make a mold, there are workshops 6PM-10 at the Watershed Thursday and Friday August 13,14. There is a fee for materials of $20. Or show up early at the pour and there will be a limited number of open-faced sand-resin molds you can hand carve to your own likeness and contribute $5 for the pour. Watching is free!

These pours are dramatic community events, entirely safe at a distance, fun to watch, and even kid friendly.

We usually don't list sponsors, but they are the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Vancouver Iron and Steel, Bridgetown Cores, Harbison Walker Refractories, Willamette Graystone, Portland State University, Pacific NW College of Art, Gallery Homeland, Silverton Foundry and Tool Shed PDX. Great job all for catching Portland up to the Iron Age!

Mold workshops August 13,14 at Tool Shed PDX 5040 SE Milwakee 6PM-10 $20. Pour at OMSI 1945 SE Water. Furnace starts noon; mold carving ($5). Pours 3PM-6. Furnace breakdown 6PM. Watching, Free