Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Tannehill Comes to Selma
Alabama Art Casting, headquartered at Tannehill State Ironworks Park near Birmingham, will host an arts education event and pour iron for keepsakes during Pilgrimage Weekend March 20-22.
Visitors can come to The Foundry, an 1860's structure, and for $20,etch their own scratch block mold for a unique gift or memento. Using a nail or dremel, sculptors can carve whatever they wish into the chemically bonded sand. Some people like to carve their house numbers, others their handprints or flowers, insects and most popular...a team mascot. Scouts typically etch their troop numbers. The iron plaques can be used as trivets, garden sculptures, shelf art, door stops and more.
There's an historic connection between Tannehill and Selma. The Tannehill Ironworks once shipped its raw iron to Selma where the Naval Foundry manufactured cannons, other weapons and iron-clad ships during the War Between the States. Wilson's Raiders of the Union Army burned most of Tannehill and much of Selma in the spring of 1865.
Today, the "Tannehill iron" used by the sculptors is scrap iron that is re-melted in a batch furnace and recycled into new uses, among them: cast-iron art blocks like the one above.
Alabama Art Casting is a nonprofit organization, and half the proceeds from this event will be donated toward preservation of The Foundry.