Sculptural Aluminum Casting

Learn to cast aluminum in three dimensions!

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This three-day workshop will introduce the process used to create three-dimensional sculptural forms in cast aluminum—pattern making, mold making, and casting.  (Note: Finishing techniques are not covered.)

The workshop includes instruction in the use of wax, plasticine (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 plasticine 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. Participation during the entire eight-hour period each day is not mandatory. Participants can drop in as time allows, however a minimum of four hours each day is required in order to complete a successful casting.

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 $.31 / lb.  Additional metal stock is available at $3.00 / lb.   All additional material fees are required upon pick up of the final castings at the end of the workshop period.


Hours & Admission*

This program is offered twice in 2024 on the following dates:  May 7 – 9, and September 17 – 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

General Admission 


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"We were at Rivers of Steel through the Wounded Warrior Project and it was awesome. I would recommend visiting these guys and having a ball!" —Paul Stajduhar, Metal Arts Workshop Attendee

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Location & Directions

The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in the communities of Swissvale and Rankin in the Monongahela River Valley.

The address for the National Historic Landmark is 801 Carrie Furnace Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15218.

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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: Clothing you can get dirty. 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 the ramp to the workshop space is ADA compliant. However, the grounds to the space may not be accessible for all wheelchairs. Contact us for details and options.
  • COVID-19 Policies: Please be advised of our current COVID-19 policies.
  • 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 Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in the communities of Swissvale and Rankin in the Monongahela River Valley. The address is 801 Carrie Furnace Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15218.

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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