Metals are heated until they turn to liquid. The liquid metal is then poured into molds to create works of art at Mesalands Community College's annual Iron Pour.
Soft voices filled the air in the room.
Some sat alone working on wax sculptures, others ate beans, fruit, salad or peanuts, and still others talked quietly about their pieces.
For seven years artists from around the country have come to Tucumcari to create metal works of art.
Friday was the culmination of a week-long event - the Iron Pour.
Although the event is called an Iron Pour, pieces are actually formed of aluminum, bronze or iron.
They begin as shapeless wax or sand and by Saturday artists take home their metal creations.
Many of the artists have attended the Iron Pour at Mesalands Community College before this year, said D’Jean Jawrunner, fine arts instructor at Mesalands and planner of the event.
“We have a big return rate, most of these people have been here before,” Jawrunner said.
The snow this week set back work because of frozen gas lines and water, and Thursday evening artists were working overtime to be prepared for the actual metal pour on Friday, Jawrunner said.
But the artists did not seem discouraged.
Rose Driscoll of Santa Fe attended the event for the first time this year. She said it was a great environment for creating art because the artists formed a sort of family to support one another.
“All of the sudden this community forms and it's all about creating art,” Driscoll said.“This is my first year and I'm coming back.”
Dana Chadzko, the head of the sculpture department at the Institute of American Indian Art in Abiquiu said she ia amazed by Jawrunner and all of the hard work she puts into the week.
She said not only does Jawrunner run the entire workshop and teach her regular courses — she helps and feeds the artists.
“She's a great cook,” Chadzko said. “D.J., she's a hero.”
Jawrunner seemed modest when asked about how much work she does during the week.
She did however discuss the work of the artists who attend.
"The stuff that's coming out of this studio is nationally and internationally recognized," she said.
“Iron casting as an art form has really caught on all over the world, and our pour is getting increased regognition each pour we do,” she said.