Let the Iron and Creativity Flow at Sloss Metal Arts “Bowl-O-Rama”!
Make a Lasting Impression with this fun Date Night!
Are you looking for a fun date night activity in Birmingham? Does your significant other refuse to paint a pretty flower while sipping rosé? Well we have an activity for you!
Scroll to bottom of page for our video!
Recently, we joined Marshall Christie and the Sloss Metal Arts crew for their ”Bowl-O-Rama” night at Sloss Furnaces. We had stopped in to check out a class that was already in session and quickly found ourselves in the process of designing an iron bowl of our own while making new friends and learning a LOT about iron pouring!
Each Bowl-O-Rama class costs just $45 per bowl. This includes all the materials needed to make your own personalized iron bowl that you get to take home with you! It’s so much fun to work with a partner while designing a unique bowl! For those who have extensive “creative differences” you can always purchase your own bowls and then compete to see who has the best design! This is a BYOB class, so feel free to bring along your favorite local brew.
When you arrive at the casting shed you will be greeted by the Sloss Metal Arts team and given a blank mold which is a block of sand that has a bowl shaped indentation. During the class you get to sketch a design and then carve the design using a variety of tools. We decided to carve a cat themed bowl! One of us worked on carving what would be the outside of the bowl while the other worked on designs that would end up on the inside of the finished bowl.
As the class carved away at their molds the Sloss team fired up the furnace that would melt all of the iron for the bowls. The program uses recycled iron scraps for material, which is one of just many things we learned during the process! As the crew stoked the fire, and our molds were lined up, Marshall walked us through the casting process and told us more about the Sloss Metal Arts program. (We don’t want to give too much away here.)
Once the iron reached the desired temperature it was poured into a crucible (aka small bucket on a stick) and walked over to line of molds. The team poured the molten iron into each mold, stopping to refill after about every third one.
At this point we were all intently waiting for the moment of truth. You really have no idea how your bowl will turn out until it’s finished, so there’s a lot of anticipation. Once the metal cooled off, Marshall went around and smashed the molds with a hammer! That’s right, they literally break the mold once your bowl has been made. Good News: It’s a one of a kind bowl. Bad News: You only have one chance to get it right.
We had a chance to see our bowl, but it was still too hot to pick up. They come out “unfinished”, so we weren’t able to take it with us that night. The bowls were ready two days later at the Sloss Furnaces gift shop and come with instructions on how to properly prep the bowl for use.
Our bowl turned out great considering it was our first attempt! We had so much fun hanging out with the Sloss Metal Arts team. Not only is this a great date night event, it is also a great activity for your friend group! Oh, and did you know that the Sloss Metal Arts team designed and made the Vulcan Trophy for the Talladega 500! Also, the proceeds of the class go towards the great programs Sloss Metal Arts provide to the community including their Summer Youth Apprenticeship program!
You can find out more info about the classes HERE and on their Facebook Page. We highly recommend that you check it out!
-Russell & Amber
Watch the video of our experience!