Monday through Saturday 11:00am – 7:00pm
With visiting artist Toby Flores
Weeklong Iron Intensive
Rivers of Steel is excited to welcome sculptor and professor Toby Flores as visiting artist for this six -day workshop in iron casting. The workshop features extended shop time onsite at the Carrie Blast Furnaces and in-depth instruction/assistance catered to the needs of each individual. Participants will have the chance to learn and experiment with multiple pattern-making materials and create multiple large and complex multi-part sand molds.
Prior experience or Intro to Iron Casting is recommended. Registration includes access to the Carrie Furnaces foundry daily between 11:00 am – 7:00 pm and the ultimate experience of participating in an iron pour from a coke fired cupola—just like the historic furnaces onsite!
All items for this workshop will be cast on Saturday July 11th with pickup the following day 10-1pm.
Weeklong Iron Intensive workshops include up to 400 lbs. of sand and corresponding chemical, waste removal, and related foundry consumables. Sand and chemical needs beyond this allotted amount are available for $.30/lb. Any additional material fees must be paid upon pick up of the final castings at the end of the workshop period.
About the Visiting Artist
Toby Flores was born in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1971 and grew up in Glendale, Arizona. He studied printmaking, drawing, and sculpture in San Diego, receiving a BA from San Diego State University in 2000. At SDSU he studied metalworking with master sculptor Gerald Dumlao. He studied sculpture and blacksmithing at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, receiving a MFA in 2003. He now lives and works in Hays, Kansas with his wife, Libby and their two boys, Cooper and Oscar. He has exhibited in over one hundred shows throughout the United States, Wales, and China.
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.