Academic and Cultural Events

Keynote Speaker
Ojārs Feldbergs, Founder and Director of the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum will address the conference on the aesthetic and cultural qualities of contemporary cast iron art in relation to the conference region with specific focus on the Baltics, Eastern and Northern Europe.

pedvale ojars

The 7th ICCCIA emphasizes education and critical discourse through panel presentations, discussions, and demonstrations. Sessions for the 7th ICCCIA will focus on the topic of the conference; exploring the conceptual and aesthetic context of sculptural iron casting and its effect on contemporary art, forms of ritual and the transformation of landscape.

Stream 1Performance/Landscape/ Ritual: This stream reflects the essential theme of the conference: Iron forming art, ritual, and landscape. Presentations will expand upon projects completed for the conference as well as artistic, performative, ritual, and landscape topics in general. Stream 1 includes presentations on performance, landscape, and ritually-based work completed in, or proposed for, sites throughout the world.

Stream 2Research/ Development/ Experimentation: Topics include research on alternative iron furnaces, contemporary digital methods in sculpture and unusual, investigative, or creative methods of casting iron. Presentations in Stream 2 will include scholarly, technical, scientific, historical and formal academic research.

Stream 3Collaboration/ Community/ International Outreach: Presentations address topics focusing on the international nature of cast iron art and related practices, regionally specific themes related to the iron-casting movement, and local issues, including the integration of iron art practice into a range of community activities. Stream 3 includes sites, topics, and possibilities for future conferences, regional events, and mini-symposia throughout the world.

Stream 4Practical Matters: Presentations on safe practices, operation of cast iron art programs within schools and communities. How-to and flash DYI sessions, “Maker” sessions, small demos, materials, and techniques are included in this stream. Stream 4 will focuses on knowledge-sharing at a practical, hands-on level.

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Elena Lourenco – Demonstrations

Assistant Professor, Fine Arts,Buffalo State College, NY- lourenem/at/buffalostate/dot/edu

Mary and Ken






Mary Neubauer – Presentations
School of Art-Head of Sculpture, Arizona State University – MARY.Neubauer/at/asu/dot/edu


Cynthia Handel – Presentations
Teaching Faculty, The Crucible, California – cynthiahandel89/at/gmail/dot/com

Technical and aesthetic demonstrations are an important element of the ICCCIA. These include demonstrations of important historical processes such as smelters, primitive furnace and mold-making processes as well as new developments in processes, such as digital pattern and mold-making.

Demonstrations will be based on the topic of the conference as well as areas of interest as expressed by the sculptural iron community. These will include a focus on historic, cultural  and current technology as well as demonstrations relevant to aesthetics, explorations of ritual in cast iron art, and applications of cast iron  art within natural and land-based art forms.

Tatara Demonstration
Wayne Portratz – Professor of Sculpture and Foundry, University of Minnesota – potra001/at/umn/dot/edu

Sodium Silicate Sand Molding with CO2
Harvey Hood – Director, Berllanderi Sculpture Workshop, Professor Emeritus, University of Wales Institute at Cardiff, UK

Ancient Dung-Molding Process
Rebecca Flis – Advanced Sculpture Student, Alfred University, USA

Drawn Through Time: Ore to Bloom
Charlotte Law – Sculpture Student, UK

Elena Lourenco – Demonstrations
Elena Lourenco is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Buffalo State College, New York, USA where she teaches the aesthetic possibilities and processes of iron casting.

Cultural Events

Cultural Events during the 7th ICCCIA focus on the culture and history of Latvia, the host country, and include an architectural walking tour of Old Riga and a night of storytelling at the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum.


Deborah LaGrasse – Cultural Events
Instructor, School of Architecture, Florida A & M – dlagrasse/at/yahoo/dot/com