Hot Hot Heat: Students melt metal for art


Things heated up at the U of M's Regis Center for Art on Friday -- all the way up to 2,443 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact.

A U of M metal casting class teamed up with students from other local universities in the 39th annual Iron Pour to liquidize iron and fill their homemade ceramic bowls with the scalding substance. Video and photos after the jump.

Watch this video of the process, and see a dozen or so images in the slideshow.

People padded around in heavy, fireproof wear and protective masks, waiting on a cupola, a massive cauldron, to melt the iron to the proper degree. Around every 20 minutes, when the cupola looked like it was about to erupt and spew lava all over the warehouse, a horn sounded and students gathered to empty some of its contents (around 300 lbs worth) into a contraption one student referred simply to as a "ladle." From there, students transported 100 lbs of the steaming, red-hot liquid into a smaller ladle, and then used that to gently pour the iron over nondescript bowls the students made in the class.

"It's just like making a sandcastle," U of M senior Krista Cuellar said.

Yeah, exactly. A very scary one.