Make Your Own Hot Art at Art on Fire!

Contributed by Carmen Summerfield

•    In the next few weeks, Pat Garley will be offering workshops in metal casting and mold making at his studio in Palmer. These workshops will continue at the 9th Annual Valley Arts Alliance Art on Fire Iron Pour Art Fest, where these molds will be poured with liquid iron. 

•    You can make your own cast iron “Art Tile” at the Art on Fire event. The molds, called “Scratch blocks” will be available for $10 and you can “scratch” your unique pattern into this block with tools (nails and chisels etc.) provided. After the liquid iron is poured into your “scratch block” and cools, you can take your “Art Tile” home! Remember to make your pattern in reverse, just like chocolate molds!

•    Sandra Cook, who owns “SL Cook Pottery and Fiber Werks” in Palmer, will conduct her Raku pottery workshop throughout the day. Sandra will provide each workshop participant (for a small fee) with a vessel or pot of unglazed ceramic ware, known as bisque, which the participants will decorate with a variety of glazes and then fire in one of Sandra’s special Raku kilns. After a short firing, the “red hot” vessels will be placed inside a metal can full of combustible materials, a process that draws the oxygen out of the glaze and is responsible for the unique and completely unpredictable Raku look. After the vessel cools, you’ll be able to take it home!

•    Judy Vars will demonstrate her Encaustic wax painting, and you can paint with this hot, colorful medium at her booth for a small fee. Encaustic wax painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface - usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. This ancient art form dates back to Egyptian times! Try it out!

•    The Association of Alaskan Blacksmiths will demonstrate blacksmithing techniques, and other fiery arts, such as glass flame working, will also be demonstrated.

•    Sahara Storm Tribal Dance Troupe will share with you the wonder of belly dance and other exciting, fiery circus performance arts.

•    We have our “Old Truck” stage set up for live music all day with a great line-up of musicians.

•    “Gathering Grounds”, associated with MY House, will be providing food from their delicious café menu. MY House - Supporting homeless youth by offering a hand up and not a hand out.

•    The Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry was established to give a home to Alaska’s transportation and industrial remnants, and to tell the stories of the people and the machines that opened Alaska to exploration and growth. That means planes, trains, automobiles and all kinds of other interesting stuff. Check it out!

The 9th Annual VAA Art on Fire Iron Pour Art Fest will be held at the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry, located at 3800 W. Museum Drive (near the airport) in Wasilla, from 10am until 5pm on Saturday, June 25. The ticket price is $10, with children under 12 admitted free. Please join the fun! We hope to turn this day into another extraordinary Iron Pour Art Fest in the Valley! 

More info at