Contemporary Cast Iron Art

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Wayne E. Potratz
“Post Modern Paradox II  [Collaboration with Castor Canadensis]”, Cast Iron,  Stone,  Wood, 36” L x 36” W x 68” H, 2003

Irons in the Fire - Nor Hall : Small Press Distribution

This book is for you, dear Iron Artists.  Conceived originally for the 3rd International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. Hoping to see you at Pedvale, 2014. ~Nor

 Hall’s research into the mytho-/psycho-/historical roots of iron is both fascinating and compelling.” — Christopher Fischbach, Rain Taxi
This “praise piece to molten metal - duplicitous, artful and harrowing - and to its handlers” is Nor Hall’s prose “character sketch” of iron and iron workers - “the people who work iron and can’t keep their hands off it.” These are strangely passionate people with a “compulsion to adore that binds them in an essential community of iron men and ferrous women.” Offering a brief history, mythology, and psychology of the element iron - both alchemical and industrial - Irons in the Fire is itself a passionate contribution to elemental poetics.

Iron Conference: the art of recidivism by Chris Fremantle


Iron Conference: the art of recidivism?

“Come for the Fire Stay for the Art”

“Meet Melt Make”

These are the strap lines on T-Shirts in July in Kidwelly, Camarthenshire: more than a hundred artists taking over an industrial museum to live and breath casting iron. Hard hats, leather aprons and jackets, work boots, gloves, face masks, blast furnaces, lots of moulds being made and poured.

Shed with furnace operations at Kidwelly, 2010. Photo: Chris Fremantle

This isn’t the cool clean sculpture of the London art world.  This also isn’t a conference centre – it’s a temporary working environment – a sort of pop-up Sculpture Department/ Workshop/ Symposium/ Camp. In fact you’d be forgiven for thinking that this has nothing to do with contemporary art at all.

Christian Benefiel
Cast Iron
Magdalena Abakanowicz 
AGORA 2005-2006, cast iron 106 figures 285-295 x 95-100 x 135-145 cm Permanent installation in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois
Wayne E. Potratz
Cast Iron, Cast Bronze, Stone, Plant Materials, Shell
25’ L x 12” W x  10” , 2010

Tamsie Ringler
Carp - (Image courtesy of Justine Johnson)
Palus Somnii (Marsh of Sleep) (6-8) was cast during the 6th International Conference of Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Kidwelly, Wales in July 2010.
Using a stripped Vauxhall Corsa as a flask, molten iron was poured directly into the vehicle’s interior. The act of the pour itself, or “Transmission,” was intended to redescribe the car in relation to the material of its own creation and our own experience. The public iron pour presented an elemental material and an ordinary vehicle as explosive spectacle, similar to the explosive introduction of petroleum into our culture and environment.  Once unmolded, the car and its interior forms of a Mississippi River carp and giant horsetails became a narrative about cars and their relationship to the environment; specifically their reliance on fossil fuels derived from primordial sources and our reliance on increasingly scarce and environmentally destructive fuel resources.

Iron Artist Handbook

You will find that this website consists of the history of casting across the world, the United States, and England, patterns, molds, types of furnaces and their operations, the ingredients, artists working with cast iron, and a references guide to organizations that deal directly with cast iron. In addition there is a glossary and list of resources for further research on all the areas discussed.
Felicia Glidden
Matris Fe
96.5 x 46 x 41 cm
Salem Art Works
Felicia Glidden
Coral Lambert
Sarah Clover