Students, faculty and alumni from West Virginia University will give new meaning to the term “fired up,” as the School of Art and Design conducts its Fall 2013 Iron Pour at the Creative Arts Center, Friday, Nov. 8.

The goal of this event is to allow students to create unique custom artworks, while also inaugurating WVU’s newly built portable iron-casting furnace.

Over the summer, WVU sculpture area coordinator Dylan Collins fabricated this furnace, which has been nicknamed “Sputnik” due to its resemblance to a rocket or satellite.

Collins received a great deal of assistance on “Sputnik” from Fairmont State University sculpture coordinator and WVU art alumnus Jeremy Entwistle. These two faculty members have worked together during the past year to share metal-casting resources between their art programs, and this new equipment will significantly aid their collaborative ventures.

“We already cast bronze and aluminum in the sculpture area at WVU, so I thought it would be great if we could also cast iron in our facilities,” said Collins.

“Iron casting involves both coordinated teamwork and effort from everyone participating, which makes this an excellent experience for our students.

“There is also a great deal of iron and steel heritage in this area, such as the Henry Clay Iron Furnace at Coopers Rock State Forest and the Carrie Furnaces in Pittsburgh, so casting iron helps us connect with our regional history.”

Local businesses, including Construction Supply Company (CSC), 3 Rivers Iron and Metal, and Jack’s Recycling, have helped get the WVU Iron Pour event off the ground by generously contributing materials and supplies, Collins said.

“In addition, local metal fabrication company Wilson Works gave us great technical support by helping cut out precision parts for the new furnace so that it runs really efficiently,” he said.

Sculpture students and faculty from Fairmont State University, as well as students and faculty from the WVU College of Creative Arts, will join Collins and his sculpture students for the Iron Pour.

In addition, the School of Art and Design has invited WVU art alumni Emily Walley, Brett Kern, Jennifer Rockage and Jamie Lester as visiting artists for the event, all of whom will be casting iron for the first time.

The 2013 Fall Iron Pour will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in the sculpture/ceramics kiln yard at the rear entrance of the Creative Arts Center. This event, which is free and open to the public, will feature catered food from Morgantown restaurant Atomic Grill.

For more information on WVU’s Fall 2013 Iron Pour, contact Dylan Collins at



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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