A NURTURING KNIT
" In my family, pumpkins are a symbol of love and care. It began as a nickname for my aunt who passed away, but in her memory, we often think of each other when we come across pumpkin commodities.
Cast iron represents strength, permanence, tenacity, and the ability to endure. These pumpkins vary in size and weight, representing different people and their influence on my life. I took the molds from actual pumpkins, so although the pumpkins will expire, they are granted permanence through the casting process.
I knit each hat by hand and let each person pick out their favorite one. I requested they wear the hats around for one winter, and then burrowed the pumpkins underneath and around the knits."
(image description: Cast iron pumpkin patch, hats I knit for friends and family
dimensions: 75”x75”x15”. Images and text courtesy of the artist)
Keystone Iron Works-A Collaboration between Colleges!
by Katie Hovencamp
On Saturday, December 9th, students and faculty from Keystone Iron Works, Marywood University, Alfred University, Penn State, SUNY at Cortland, and Keystone College gathered together at Marywood University in Scranton to pour iron. This was the first time iron was poured at Marywood University. Nikki Moser, (Coordinator of 3D Studies, Assistant Professor-Marywood University) hosted the event.
Prior to the iron pour, Professor Nikki Moser hosted several classes for Keystone Iron Works, a non profit organization that gives high school students to opportunity to learn about cast iron art and create works of their own. Her Keystone Iron Works class and students from Marywood University created sand molds which were cast in iron. Professor Moser opened up the opportunity to neighboring colleges in the area to participate in this event. Students and faculty from Alfred University, Penn State, Keystone College, and SUNY at Cortland also brought works to be cast in iron.
Coral Penelope Lambert (Associate Professor of Sculpture and Director of the National Casting Center-Alfred University) led the iron pour along with Paige Henry (Aflred University-National Casting Center Foundry Technician) who were also accompanied by a group of Alfred University students."MothRa" the iron casting furnace used at the iron pour was brought down from Alfred University. This furnace was built by Professor Lambert in 1998.
"Pouring iron for art is a totally engaging activity, it is inherently dangerous and one's full attention is demanded. It is so rewarding to see iPhones being abandoned with real eyes on the action. Students participating are absorbed by the physicality, the smell, the heat, the taste; all of their senses are alerted, there is a role for everyone. You can see that their inspiration and curiosity has been roused and their creativity has been literally lit with fire." -Professor Lambert
For many of the students this was the first time they experienced an iron pour. The students had to opportunity to work with Lambert and Henry as well as Alfred University students, who were seasoned professionals in the cast iron art field. Vaughn Randall (Professor of Art SUNY at Cortland), Erin Schiano (SUNY at Cortland student), and Lionel Maunz also assisted in the coordination of students.
"It was fun meeting people from other schools and seeing everyone work together." -Gabby Gentile (Student at Keystone College)
Cristin Millett (Professor of Art-Penn State University) brought her foundry class who were experienced pouring aluminum and bronze, were new to cast iron. Professor Millett wanted her students to experience how artists, students, and professionals converge in order to create art as well as experiencing the adrenaline of pouring iron.
Katie Hovencamp (Adjunct Professor of Art-Keystone College) also brought a group of students who were new to cast iron.
"One of the reasons I was initailly drawn to studying sculpture was because of the comradary you have with other three dimensional artists. In order to create work in cast iron you need a team. Many of the people who participated in this iron pour I have known for several years and I consider them a second family. We are all artists that support one another and we also have the opporunity to work with and support students as well. To me this is a really beautiful thing to watch. It is amazing to see everyone come together to make art. I wanted my students to experience this as well and I am grateful that Nikki invited us to come." -Katie Hovencamp (Adjunct Professor of Art-Keystone College)
Nikki Moser (Coordinator of 3D Studies, Assistant Professor-Marywood University) was responsible for bringing together all of these groups to participate in an event that was truly collaborative. It was a wonderful event that brought together several generations of artists, students, and faculty to create art and forge new friendships. Thank you Nikki for bringing everyone together on a lovely snowy day!