From Alpine to Aluminum
On a trip to Silver Dollar City as a young child with his family, Michael Korinek visited the Blacksmith Shop and purchased a metal letter opener that he still has today! One could say that it piqued his first interest in metalworking. And as they say, the rest is history.
Originally a woodworking and marble-sculpting man from the town of Springfield, Illinois, Michael Korinek stepped up the heat when he began his founding career at The City. He learned how to form different materials in sculpting classes at Greenville University in Illinois, but his first metal cast was poured at The City under the watchful eye of Master Blacksmith Kelly Tiede—a metal sign fashioned after a military branch.
Michael wants his “artifacts” to last a lifetime and cooled metal does just the trick! Although he crafts plenty of traditional pieces, he is always learning and innovating his craft. “I think something is wrong if I am not finding new ways to develop and I am not learning from my mess-ups,” said Michael.
On any given day, he casts decorative pieces such as signs, plaques, ornaments, fall leaves and other mementos. “One of my most accomplished pieces was a bird sitting on a branch of flowers. That pattern was difficult to cast in the sand I was using.” At times, Michael Korinek must use a file the size of a needle to craft his more intricate pieces!
The City’s craftsmen are always looking for their next piece of unique and meaningful art, Michael is just one among this group of creative pioneers. “I can’t really call any of the pieces I cast my own,” said Michael. “I consider them more classical artifacts of Silver Dollar City.”
3/11/2023 — 12/30/2023
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