Hot metal pour at Franconia Sculpture Park

Experience the sizzling, white-hot beauty of molten metal at Franconia Sculpture Park’s annual Hot Metal Pour.

Franconia staff member with young artists and their molds.

At this free event visitors can watch sculptors turn fiery metal into art.  Cast metal artists Tamsie Ringler, assistant professor at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, and Araan Schmidt, sculpture instructor at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, will lead the pour.

The band Savage Aural Hotbed will perform at 12:30, 2:30 and 4 p.m.  Food will be available for purchase from Taco Taxi and The Waffle Van.

Make your own

For a fee, visitors can create a tile-shaped “scratch mold” that the artists will fill with metal to make a unique cast iron sculpture.

Using sharp tools, the participant creates a design in the hardened sand.

As trained artists wearing heavy leather clothing pour liquefied iron into the open-faced molds, the audience will see the sculpture taking shape.

Once the metal is cooled, the mold is struck and the resulting sculpture is cleaned for the artist to take home.

A 6” mold costs $25, 8” is $40, and 10” is $75.  Molds can be purchased the day before the event or early in the day Saturday.  Reservations are encouraged.


In addition to the event on Aug. 4, Franconia will host two free public mold-making workshops on Sunday, July 29, from 1 to 4 p.m., and on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 5 to 9 p.m.  Reservations are required.

The Hot Metal Pour is a culmination of a 10-day symposium of metal artists from across the U.S., plus mold-making workshops for the public.

Joining Ringler and Schmidt are 12 iron artists from around the country, including Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan and Colorado.

“This event is a terrific opportunity for our community and the artists,” said John Hock, artistic director at Franconia.

Funding is provided by the East Central Regional Arts Council and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The sculpture park is located in a rural setting south of Taylor’s Falls, at 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia.

For more information or to make reservations, email [email protected] or call 651-257-6668.