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.


Lois said...

How interesting! The students in the Art Department here at FSU have "iron pours" a couple of times a year.

Virginia said...

Been on a few field trips to Tannehill! Interesting post.

Rambling Round said...

Hi Lois, Guess what? Some of the sculptors who may be coming to Selma to work with the Alabama Art Casting during Pilgrimage are from Florida State! I talked to the head of the project yesterday while he was here.

Interesting, yes!

Lois said...

That's really interesting! I actually work in the same building as the Art Dept and I probably know some of them! I'll have to ask around and see who it is.

bfarr said...

Very interesting and sounds like fun.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

The casting idea is so cool! I like that recycled iron can be turned into art.