Festival of Fire

Ceramics | Glass | Iron | Registration


Now in its twelfth year, the Intercollegiate Festival of Fire celebrates all media found & forged in fire with performances, exhibitions, key note speakers, demonstrations and hands on workshops!  Artists from across the nation are invited to come together to share techniques, ideas and resources in iron casting, ceramics, glass blowing and blacksmithing.

Featured artists presenting this weekend include Jay Wholley, Jason Hess, Erin and Grant Garmezy and Jordan LaMothe!

See our full schedule and registration details below!


Friday September 21st

8am–8pm / Registration at the Visitor Center

9am–5pm / Kiln Building at the Wood-Fired Kilns

10am (all day) / Glass Students Work

2pm–6pm / Jordan LaMothe Blade Forging Demo

5pm–6pm / Ceramic Keynote Speech by Jason Hess

6pm / Light Wood-Fired Kilns (24-hour firing)

8pm / Iron Performance Pour

Saturday September 22nd

8am–8pm / Registration at the Visitor Center

9am–7pm / Production Pour

9am–4pm / Glass Demos

2pm–4pm / Blacksmithing Workshop

6pm–7pm / Flamework Keynote Speech by Grant and Erin Garmezy

8pm / Iron Keynote Speech by Jay Wholley

Sunday September 23rd

8am–2pm / Check out at Visitor Center

9am / Clean up and Divest Molds at the Foundry Pit

9am–2pm / Opening Brunch at Railroad Station Gallery

9am / Glass Annealer Unloading

3pm / Wood-Fired Kiln Unloading


Day Visitors

The public is invited to come see Friday nights Iron Performance, Exhibitions on Main Street and the Rail Road Station, Keynote Speakers, Demonstrations and Drop in Workshops. To participate in the Wood-Fire Symposium, Glass Workshop and Iron Pour you must register for the conference below.


Served daily under the white tent; you must have a wristband to eat.

8am-10am, Breakfast $5
11am-1pm, Lunch $10
6pm-8pm, Dinner $15

What to Bring / Wear

Day participants are encouraged to dress for outdoor conditions. Typically during the day it is hot, but can also be cold and windy. We suggest bringing pop-up chairs/blankets, closed-toe shoes, and your camera. Check the weather and dress accordingly.

Overnight Visitors and Workshop Participants

Friday, September 21 thru Sunday, September 23
$125 per person, includes camping and meals

Saturday, September 22 thru Sunday, September 23
$75 per person, includes camping and meals

Additional days in attendance before and/or after the festival
$50 per person, includes camping and meals

Day of registration additional $25.00 fee
Festival Workshops are an additional fee, see options below!

What to Bring / Wear

Overnight guests must bring their camping gear including tent, tarp, sleeping bag, pillow, towel, and biodegradable toiletries. Porta potties and outdoor showers are available. We also suggest participants bring closed-toed shoes, dress in natural fiber only, bring layers for varying day and night temperatures including a warm hat, gloves, and jacket and rain gear.

Festival Workshops

Scroll down for more workshop details

Wood-Fire Symposium

Individual or Group Registration for Kiln Building Workshop

Join a group for $120, or
Register your own group of up to five for $585

Glass Workshop

Individual Registration
$275 per person, limited to 6 people

Iron Pour

Bring Your Own Mold
$.50 cents per lb of iron

Doodle Bowls
$45 per person, $40 per person for group of 6 or more
Must reserve molds in advance

Intro to Blacksmithing, Make a Hook!

Individual Registration
$50 per person, limited to 6 people per session



Small Wood-Kiln Symposium

Salem Art Works invites teams to build and fire small wood-fired ceramic kilns. Specific refractory materials are provided to build the kiln (listed below,) teams must create their design in advance. During the symposium teams will construct their kiln and must be finished by 5 pm Friday, Kilns will be loaded with ceramic work made by the team members, fired for a maximum of 24 hours, and unloaded on Sunday late afternoon.

The 2018 key note key note for ceramics is Jason Hess, Professor of Art and head of the Ceramics Program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. He has a BFA from Beloit College (1992) and an MFA from Utah State University (1996). Hess has exhibited in over 175 exhibitions at galleries, art centers and universities across the US and internationally. His artwork is featured in the collection of The United Postal Service, The Renwick Gallery of The Smithsonian Institute, The Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University as well as a number of private collections. Jason has participated in artist residencies at The Archie Bray Foundation, Red Lodge Clay Center, and The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China.

+ Details

$120 per person or $585 per group of five people $175 registration fee Friday thru Sun plus one additional day

Materials Provided
Refractory and fuel available to each team 4' x 8' x 4” steel box filled with silica sand
(200) standard hard bricks 9"x4.5"x2.5"
(100) 2300 soft bricks 9"x4.5"x2.5"
(4) 12" x 24" x 3/4" silicon carbide kilns shelves
(1) five gallon bucket of fireclay/epk mix for mortar and wadding
1/4 cord of hardwood and 1/4 cord of pine both split fine and 12 inches long

Detailed Schedule
Thursday, September 20, 2018
6 pm - 8 pm / Participant arrival
Friday, September 21, 2018
9 am - 5 pm / Construction of the kilns, loading of the kiln
5 pm / keynote speech at kilns
6 pm / Lighting of all kilns (24-hour firing)
Saturday, September 22, 2018 Firing of kilns continues
6 pm / Last kiln stoke and closing of kilns (teams can fire up to 24 hrs only)
Sunday, September 23, 2018
3 pm / Unloading of the kiln

What to Bring / Wear Bring your preferred hand tools, safety glasses, close-toed shoes, and dress warm for evening firing shifts (insulated jump suit, wool socks, scarf and thermos).




Glass Workshop

The Glass Workshop will be led by guest artist team Grant and Erin Garmezy, during the 2018 Intercollegiate Festival of Fire. Learn how to utilize flame-worked glass components and the "ins and outs" of hot sculpting glass in a collaborative, team-oriented manner in Salem Art Works glass studio. This intensive workshop will include demonstrations and hands-on activities throughout the weekend! 

+ Details

$275 per person
$175 registration fee Friday thru Sun plus one additional day

Detailed Schedule
Thursday, September 20, 2018
6-8 pm / Participant arrival
Friday, September 21, 2018
10am / Student work-day with guest artists
Saturday, September 22, 2018
9-12:00 pm / Grant and Erin Garmezy Demos
1-4:00 pm / Grant and Erin Garmezy Demos
6-7:00 pm / Keynote speech by Grant and Erin Garmezy
Sunday, September 23, 2018
9 am / Unload annealer

Iron Pour

Our Iron Pour is a chance for teams from across the nation to come together and share techniques, ideas, and resources in iron casting as well as engage in a dialogue on the process. Participants spend the weekend working in groups to prepare molds, furnaces and our pour site. Some other opportunities for this event is exposure to a fire arts performance and keynote speaker.

The 2018 key note speaker for iron is Jay Wholley, who has been showing his work in galleries and museums for over fifty years. He has shown in museums such as the Whitney, NYC, the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI, the Grand Palais, Paris, France, the Burchfield-Penny in Buffalo, NY, the Trenton Art Museum, Trenton, NJ, the Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, the Museum of Metals, Memphis,TN, The Harrisburg Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA among others. 
His work has also been shown in art centers such as the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville NY, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ, the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts, Aspen, CO

+ Details

$60 per day studio rental
¢.50 per lb iron
$25 per 100 lb sand

Detailed Schedule
Friday, September 21
9-5pm / Arrival of participants

8pm / Performance Pour
Saturday, September 22
9am / Gather molds and get on a mold line – discussion of casting process

11am / Saturday afternoon/day – Production Pour – All molds are poured in iron
Sunday, September 23
9-12 pm / open molds, clean-up pouring area, and discuss the process

9-12 pm / Fresh Casting Photo Booth Online Exhibition.

What to Bring/Wear For mold making bring a respirator and own hand tools to work with wax and carve sand.

For pouring bring leather boots (steel toe recommended), safety glasses, bandana, helmet with a metal mesh screen, leather jacket, chaps, spats, and gloves. Bring your grinder, saw, and a wire brush for divesting and finishing casting.

Introduction to Blacksmithing, Make a Hook!

Participants will have the opportunity to forge a decorative hook while learning basic blacksmithing techniques and safety procedures in this two-hour introductory workshop. The class is limited to 6 students and will include building and maintaining a fire, heating metal to the proper temperature, basic hammer techniques, drawing, twisting and curling. Time permitting, participants may also forge a small pendant to take home along with their hook.

+ Details

No prior experience necessary. Suitable for ages 12 and up. This workshop will be taught by Luke Claymon, Blacksmithing Director at SAW.

Dates and times:

Friday, Sept. 21, 4:00-6:00 pm, or Saturday, Sept. 22, 2:00-4:00 p.m


$50 per person, limited to 6 students per session