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Found Casting: Iron Horse Hotel

A new hotel has opened up in Milwaukee that caters to the motorcycle enthusiast and business professional alike. Located across from the new Harley Davidson Museum, the Iron Horse Hotel features a masculine, yet modern design, complete with aluminum sculptures in every room meant to represent molten metal in a metalcasting facility.

From its website:

In keeping with its theme of fusing industrial aesthetics with cutting edge amenities, The Iron Horse Hotel commissioned Milwaukee sculptor Amber Van Galder to create unique works of art out of recycled aluminum. The original pieces are displayed above beds in the concept hotel’s guest rooms.

Van Galder created the pieces to resemble industrial metal spills commonly found on the floors of metal foundries. The artist melted down 40 pounds of recycled aluminum for each piece, pouring the spills into sand, and then hand polishing them to a brilliant patina.

An Evansville, Wisconsin native, Van Galder graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2007.  While studying art there, she developed a close relationship with Professor Dan McGuire, who trained her in traditional foundry work. This discipline re-united Van Galder with her Evansville roots; the rural community boasts an industrial foundry that has been operational for more than 130 years.  

We’re not thrilled with the exaggerated phrase “metal spills commonly found on the floors of metal foundries,” but the end result is cool. A quick look in our directory has us thinking the metalcasting facility in Evansville they are referring to is Baker Manufacturing Co., which has been around since 1873.