For the past three decades, sculpture professor George Beasley, 64, has organized the annual Holiday Iron Pour at Georgia State University. The Dec. 15 event is a chance for regular folk to observe artists at work and also participate in the thrill of turning hot metal into cool sculpture.
"It started out in 1970 with my students as their last casting project turning out to be Christmas project. And not being real pleased about that, I told them, 'Look, I'll do a Christmas iron pour after classes are over, but right now get your work done!'
"By my reckoning we are the second-longest iron pour in America [after the University of Minnesota]. Children love it. We had a whole bunch of children last year carving scratch blocks: They're like blank tiles, and all one has to do is carve their design with tools we supply. And then we take those molds and we pour molten iron in them and they get a little tile or plaque.
"We start in the afternoon, which is much more designed for children and families, with the scratch-block pouring. By evening we're pouring the bigger molds in the main sculpture courtyard; it's very dramatic. We do this covered-dish fundraiser with a band, the BooHoo Ramblers. It's all to raise money for our program.
"We're always looking for donations of iron. Old steam radiators are our favorite. If anybody has a steam radiator they can contribute, they'll get in free."
$10 scratch molds, $5 for party. Sat., Dec. 15. Studios open to make scratch molds, 2 p.m.; iron pour begins, 4 p.m. 184 Edgewood Ave. 404-413-5274. www.gsu.edu.
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