Work with experienced Rivers of Steel teaching artists and visiting artists to learn the basics of foundry work, including pattern and mold-making. It’s a step-by-step overview of the iron-casting process!
Metal Arts Workshop—Intro to Iron Casting
Intro to Iron Casting
Iron casting is a community workshop experience!
Intro to Iron Casting participants work with experienced Rivers of Steel teaching artists to learn the basics of foundry work, pattern and mold-making, and receive a step-by-step overview of the iron casting process. No prior experience necessary. This workshop covers multi-part mold and pattern design, lost- wax casting, resin-bonded sand molds, and experience participating in an iron-casting demonstration. The course results in your own unique design(s) cast in solid iron!
All items for the workshop will be cast on Saturday October 8th during the annual Festival of Combustion 1-8p.m. Cooled castings can be picked up on the following Sunday between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Please note that the iron-casting operation can often last eight or more hours, and start time for the casting period is determined day of, based on mold count, outdoor temperature and other factors. Additionally, the pick-up window on Sunday may be later than anticipated if the casting operation lasts long into the previous evening. Check with Rivers of Steel Metal Arts staff on the casting date for more specific information.
Intro to Iron Casting workshops include up to 250 lbs. of sand and corresponding chemical, waste removal, and related foundry consumables. Sand and chemical needs beyond this allotted amount are available for $.31/lb. Any additional material fees are required to be paid upon pick up of the final castings.
Hours & Admission*
This program is a three-day workshop offered Thursday through Saturday, October 5-7 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
*Workshops are limited to 25 participants.
Location & Directions
The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in Swissvale and Rankin, PA in the Monongahela River Valley. The entrance to the Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104. The address is 801 Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Pittsburgh PA 15218.
What to Know Before You Go
As a former industrial site, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable visit.
- Masks: Please be advised of our current COVID-19 policies. Masks are to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
- Maintain social distance: Social distancing is no longer mandatory, but we do ask that you be mindful of the people around you, allowing for a comfortable amount of space when possible.
- What to wear: Clothing you can get dirty. If you would like to participate in the casting portion of the workshop then work boots are required footwear. We have all other necessary safety gear on site. The workshop space is not temperature controlled; please dress for the weather. Additionally, the ground is uneven – sensible shoes are a must. Open-toed shoes and high heels are prohibited.
- Restrooms & concessions: The rawness of the site is certainly part of its charm. However, that rawness also limits the creature comforts many of us are accustomed to, like running water. Portable bathrooms, hand washing stations and hand sanitizer are available. Food amenities are not available (with some exceptions, such as food trucks at festivals).
- Photography: Photography is permitted. For safety reasons, videography and drones are prohibited.
- Accessibility: Handicapped parking is available, and there is an ADA ramp into the Power House where workshops are held. The surrounding grounds are not wheelchair accessible, but some assistance is available. Inquire for details.
- Liability: By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors consent to the terms of our liability waiver and consent to be photographed (PDF).
- Admission: Site access is limited to guided tours, workshops, and events. Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed.
- Location: The entrance to the Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104.
Thank you for following these guidelines. We wish you to have the best visit possible, and appreciate your patience as we continue to improve the visitor experience.
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