West Virginia University and Fairmont State University students and faculty brought a whole new meaning to being fired up about art Friday.
Not many people get to participate in seeing how the finished product of iron artwork is made and the 2013 WVU Fired Up! Iron Pour on Friday allowed just that.
A crowd gathered at the Creative Arts Center to watch hundreds of molds be poured. There is a lot of teamwork and build up that goes into a project like this.
"The preparation for it with making the molds to pour the iron into. And then it's just the waiting process for the iron to cool down because you can't immediately open the molds because you'll burn yourself," said Erin McDaniels, a Fairmont State University student. "So I think the most difficult thing is preparing the molds, the preparation and the wait time."
Dylan Collins is the sculpture coordinator at WVU and built the furnace for the job.
"I wanted to build a furnace. I've had a lot of help from my friend Jeremy who coordinates the sculpture program at Fairmont State University," said Collins. "We're very interested in iron casting. It's a very close knit community of artists working in this endeavor, through out the united states in fact. So our idea was to make a furnace that we could work collaboratively with students from his program and my program."
Before the artwork is finished, there is a lot of preparation. Each cast needs to be sculpted before they can put the iron in, which is about 3,000 degrees. It also takes a few days to set so people won't be able to see their art work until at least Monday.
With that iron being so hot, the faculty and students have to take safety precautions and even do a few practice runs.
McDaniel said there is always a worry of things going wrong when doing something like this.
"It's always a fear. But I mean if you let fear get into the way then you can't do anything," said McDaniel. "And it's just that experience of being so close to something that could potentially harm you but also using that material, and making a piece of art out of it."
After the 2013 WVU Iron Pour, Collins hopes to take the piece of equipment on the road and travel to engage people with this art activity.