Hoosier Iron Pour 2024: A Melting Success

On Hoosier Pattern’s grounds in Decatur, Indiana, became the epicenter of a massive artistic party on Friday, June 7, 2024, at the Second Annual Hoosier Iron Pour. The event featured work by artists in the region with collaborators, including Evolution Art Studio, FeLion Studios, and KRL Metal Arts Studios. Hoosier Pattern established the event for community members, students, adults, and artists to cast art pieces with molten iron.

The Pouring Process

The event was a spectacular success, marked by some impressive feats. Over four hours, we poured an astounding 2,000 pounds of iron. Once the metal started flowing, we managed to maintain a steady rhythm, pouring molten iron every seven minutes. The initial taps produced 200 pounds of molten iron, and as we got into the groove, we ramped it up to 300 pounds per tap. The temperature of the metal averaged a blistering 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

We began the process by melting an iron melt disk, followed by various metal charges, including a scrap brake rotor from a salvage yard. Our Cupola furnace, which volunteers endearingly called a “hungry beast,” performed admirably, allowing us to tap it 36 times throughout the event.

Volunteer and Community Involvement

Many volunteers staffed this impressive event. The members of Hoosier Pattern brought 22 volunteers, and Alton Combustion of Fort Wayne brought six more. Moreover, representatives from Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin traveled to attend this spectacular event.

Our 16-inch diameter Cupola and large charging deck received praise. They are the largest charging deck and Cupola combination east of the Mississippi.

Event Attendance and Future Prospects

Over 250 people joined us, and the community expressed interest in this art form. With a turnout like this, despite some parking issues, we know we are doing something right. We are planning next year’s festival and working on some of the logistics to make it even more accessible.

Decatur Sculpture Tour and Castings

The event wrapped up on Saturday, June 8, which happened to be the Decatur Sculpture Tour. The Iron Pour Walk showcased the castings on the sidewalk east of the courthouse. Anyone who had made an iron casting could pick their castings and take their artwork home. We took the remaining castings that had not been picked up back to Hoosier Pattern to be picked up later.

Reflection and Gratitude

The event was filled with rich gratitude, which unexpectedly moved everyone who took part, whether firsthand or through events like this. The most gratifying part was seeing volunteers and schoolchildren from the local community learning to turn scratch tiles into actual cast iron artworks.

An air of pride and gratitude was evident as people celebrated the result of their collaboration. Throughout the evening, Hoosier Pattern’s dedication to community engagement and pushing the boundaries of artistic and industrial cooperation was remarkable.

Looking Ahead

As we finally lit the furnace that evening, there was a strong sense of unity and achievement. Everyone was on board and eager to see what the next year would bring. This year has been a high watermark and an excellent template for future events. Rest assured, we already have big plans for event improvements and expansion.

The impact will be long-lasting, especially as schools in the area start incorporating iron casting into their curriculum. Hoosier Pattern is honored to be a part of the next generation of artists and engineers. This metal industry is not only about metal but also about shaping our community — one pour at a time.