The Summer Youth Apprenticeship program was founded on the importance of passing on the history of Sloss and the many techniques and traditions of metal art.
This paid, 8-week program, employs 10-15 high school students, aged 16-18, to work and study under professional artists for 30 hours per week. Students are introduced to a variety of processes and techniques in an interactive, individualized environment.
While being introduced to new techniques, the apprentices will create an array of work from tiles and medallions to bookends and light switch covers to be sold in the Sloss Museum Store in support of the program. For their final projects, they will submit a professional proposal and maquette and spend the final 2 weeks executing their final sculpture. Our instructors are all professional artists working in cast iron or fabricated steel.
Apprentices can expect to learn:
- Site and tool safety
- Wood, wax, and oil-based clay sculpting
- Mold making
- Iron casting
- Art exhibition preparation and installation
- Critique methods
- Sculpture proposals and maquette building
During field trips to Sloss Furnaces, a trained docent will lead your students through the historic site as they learn about how the furnaces worked, the story of the men who worked at Sloss and their experiences, and why Sloss and the iron industry was important to Birmingham. Then they will experience the history first-hand as they create their own cast iron art and watch a live iron pour by the Sloss Metal Arts Program. Students will etch a design of their choosing into a sand mold, then the artists will pour molten iron into their molds creating the cast iron art piece. This unique experience provides full circle learning as they hear about how iron was made, watch iron being made, and take home a piece of iron that they designed.