On the evening of Sept. 28 months of planning by the staff at the Bliss Studio and Gallery in downtown Monument culminated in the pouring of molten iron into sand molds carved by local residents.
The entire day of the Iron Pour was planned to perfection. There were last-minute opportunities to carve sand molds, music provided by various groups and individuals and pizza by Papa Bear Pizza was available for guests.
While we waited for the sun to set and the iron to melt we were treated to demonstrations of handpans from Arcana musical instruments, as well as the blown-glass creations of Corey Silverman and the glass-torch work of Jannine Scott.
It takes time to melt thousands of pounds of iron, but the audience patiently waited until long after sundown and it was worth it!
Sparks flew across the night sky as the coke was added to the furnace to accelerate the melting process and the crucible was heated. The first batch of red hot iron was poured into a trough to create an impressive “river of fire.”
We all marveled at the skill and muscle it took the staff at Bliss Studios, assisted by students from The Colorado Springs School, to ladle the incredibly hot, molten iron, into our molds.
This amazing event was only possible because of the dedication of Jodie Bliss and her amazing staff: Steffany Boucher, Chris D’Addario, Alex DiFiore and Deborah Schoen. But it also took the people of Monument and the Tri-Lakes area to carve the sand molds, act as volunteers on the day of the event and to show support for the arts. Several people I spoke to had driven from Denver and Colorado Springs and marveled at the focus and the strength of our community to work together.
Congratulations to all who contributed to this successful and exciting event. Now, start planning those tile designs for next year!
Nancy Bonig is a professional glass artist living in Monument. She is the founder of Front Range Open Studios, and her kilnworked glass can be seen at the Denver Art Museum shop. Have an art event you would like her to cover? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.