Let it pour: Artists, observers turn out for day of metalcrafting

QCS photo: Thomas Garcia Molten iron splashes up from the sand mold being poured Friday at Mesalands 18th annual Iron Pour.

QCS photo: Thomas Garcia
Molten iron splashes up from the sand mold being poured Friday at Mesalands 18th annual Iron Pour.

By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer

A week filled with myriad artistic styles, meticulous planning and the camaraderie of kindred spirits from all walks culminated Friday night with the pouring of 6,000 pounds of molten iron at Mesalands Community College.

Shouts of joy filled the air as the first stream of fiery liquid poured out of the blast furnace “Peechy Keen” from the Keen Foundry in Houston into the buckets at the 18th annual Iron Pour.

This was the largest pour done in the history of the event, said D’Jean Jawrunner, Mesalands’ fine arts faculty member and the creator of the college’s Iron Pour.
The pour lasted 5 1/2 hours.

Jawrunner said it was another successful iron pour, an event that draws many back to Tucumcari and inspires many first timers to plan a return visit.

“The people come from all over and when they experience the warm and hospitable atmosphere they want to return,” Jawrunner said.

“It was a fantastic experience coming to Tucumcari for the Iron Pour,” said Bob Melton, of Richardson, Texas.

Melton said he and his wife, Sue, have enjoyed the great learning experience at such a unique event in a place like no other. He said throughout the week everyone was welcoming and helpful.

One of the molds Melton had poured, a sun dial, did not set and the piece was lost. However, Melton said that did not sway his opinion as several of his other pieces turned out great.

“It simply could not have been any better, it exceeded my wildest expectations,” said George Bornstein of Taos.

Bornstein described Jawrunner as a “force of nature” during the main pour. He said Jawrunner was simply marvelous and unflappable under pressure.

Jawrunner, who refused to take any praise, said the “true heart of the event are the people, who each year take time out of their lives to travel to Tucumcari to bring the Iron Pour to life.”

“I will keep coming until you all tell me to stop,” said Emily Brown, of Allen, Texas.

Brown said over the years, the people you meet at the Iron Pour transition from friends into “family.” She said as the event draws closer you get excited to see everyone and catch up on what’s going on in their lives.

Jawrunner said another reason for the events continued success is because of the good people of the community and how each year the  businesses and residents support the Iron Pour.

“I cannot say ‘thank you’ enough to everyone in the community who  contributes,” she said.

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