Winston-Salem's annual Industry Hill Block Party is back at Mixxer Makerspace this weekend. It will feature live outdoor music, family fun, games, arts and crafts, food trucks, and iron casting.
Night of Fire begins at sundown. That's when a team of cast iron artists from across the southeast will don their leathers to operate a huge, on-site furnace under the stars and open to the public. Working together, they'll pour liquid metal into dozens of molds hand-carved out of wax by community members hoping to reveal their inner artist.
Mixxer founder Alan Shelton says it takes several artisans and lots of careful collaboration to control each filled container splashing around at 3,000 degrees.
"And when it hits the cool night air, any slag on top of it cools and immediately flies up into the air," says Shelton. "And what you see is sparks flying everywhere. So, you're standing in a shower of sparks, holding 100 pounds of liquid iron that would burn a hole through you if you spilled it on you, and you have to have a crew of about ten people to manage all of this."
There will be fire-twirling dancers, professional body painting, beer from local microbreweries, and more. The block party runs from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 11. Cast iron molds from community members are still being accepted.