Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
4:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Sculptural Aluminum Casting
This workshop will introduce the process used to create three-dimensional sculptural forms in cast aluminum—patternmaking, mold making and casting. (Note: Finishing techniques are not covered.) The workshop includes instruction in the use of wax, plasticene (oil-based clay), and various other pattern materials. Most participants make their patterns from several pre-made forms we have in stock. These include vessels, utensils, door pulls, light switch covers, fabric, styrofoam etc. Workshop participants are able to customize their own design to these existing forms, making them unique, or build entirely from scratch using plasticene and wax-working techniques demonstrated during the workshop. Cast aluminum objects can be taken home at the end of the third day of the workshop.
Sculptural Aluminum Casting workshops include up to 10 lbs. of Aluminum, 100 lbs. of sand and corresponding chemical, waste removal and related foundry consumables. Additional sand and chemical needs beyond this allotted amount are available for $.30/lb. Additional metal stock is available at $3/lb. All additional material fees are required upon pick up of the final castings at the end of the workshop period.
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.
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.
- What to wear: Closed toed shoes. 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 and wash stations are available. Food amenities are generally not (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, but the grounds covered during tours are not wheelchair accessible.
- Liability: By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors are required to sign a liability waiver and consent to be photographed (PDF).
What to bring: Nothing is required but if you have small sculpting tools or specific materials you would like to experiment with please bring them. If you are bringing items to be cast please keep in mind the size limits mentioned above and be sure your objects/materials are flexible and malleable enough to be removed from the hardened sand molds. We can advise on materials once you arrive so feel free to bring a range of options from which to choose.
When you arrive please check-in at the front gate. Bring paper copies of your tickets or have them accessible on a smart phone. If you arrive early please remain in the gate area and do not wander the site.If you need to call for directions or assistance please call 412-464-0838
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.