A few months ago, Adam and I decided that we were going to attend Sloss for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices. I had planned on attending regardless as this was a great way to catch up with Chuck, Chad, Kate, Teresa and whoever else might end up going such as JT and Christof (and I when I worked at UWM I usually had an Open House event or something that was a conflict with the conference so I was only able to attend once when I worked at UWM). I was asked to speak on a panel about the role of technology so it was actually great that I had already planned on attending. Adam and I prepared some molds the day before we left. I worked until 3am preparing a sand mold to take with me (which I will post about soon) and then we left from school early that same morning. We got down to Birmingham in the afternoon on Wednesday of the Conference, got checked into our hotel and then headed over to Sloss. Sloss is pretty amazing place considering the time that it was built, the technology at the time, and the impact that it would have had on the South. It's truly amazing to see it from a distance and it holds the same wonder as you drive onto the grounds. A new visitor's center had been built since the last time I was here. It's an amazing space complete with conference room and gallery (which I will post about one of the exhibitions that was held in that space).
Adam and I had a great time talking on the way down as it turns out that Adam and I must have both attended a conference a the same time in the past. Adam also has a connection to Chuck as he studied under two of Chuck's former Sculpture students, Hanna Jubran and Carl Billingsley at East Carolina University. This would lead to some great conversations over the course of the weekend as Adam got to meet Chuck and we all got to talk about past interactions, etc. I've always found this family tree that occurs in a filed of study to be quite interesting, such as the one I am a part of in Metals, but there is something truly close and family like about the art/sculpture foundry movement in particular. Stay tuned for more on that as I continue a series of posts about our trip to Sloss in 2017.