GoggleWorks Center for the Arts will host its 5th Annual Iron Pour and Forge Fest at its downtown Reading campus on Saturday, April 29, 2023. The art center will again partner with Albright College to welcome residents, students, and visitors to the day-long, admission-free, family-friendly event celebrating artists who work with heavy metals.
The signature event takes place at sunset, when Albright professor Brian Glaze leads a pour team of students and artists from Albright and GoggleWorks to shape and transform superheated, molten iron for an expected audience of 1,000 visitors.
Attendees can expect to witness the age-old spectacle of casting and forging, which features intense heat from the furnace, the bright glow of 3000 degree molten metal, and the shooting sparks of the crucible when it is tapped. The first 50 visitors of all ages can create their own sand molds, producing small casted iron artworks to take home after the event.
“I’ll never forget my first pour; friends and family gathering in awe watching molten iron transform and glow against an urban night background,” said Maggie Gallen, Director of Programs at GoggleWorks, “This event is a fun and unique once in a lifetime experience.”
The program will again be expanded as a “Forge Fest” beginning at noon, featuring demonstrations by artists from the Pennsylvania Artists Blacksmith Association.
This year’s event features even more activities beyond metalworking, including hands-on activities for kids and families, live music by performers from Albright’s Center for Fine Arts, food truck fare, craft beers, and artisanal ice cream.
David Tanner, Dean of Arts and Cultural Resources at Albright College, stated, “Albright College is pleased to once again be a co-sponsor for the Annual Iron Pour & Forge Fest. While Brian Glaze, our art department chair and our resident sculpture professor, has been working on the project the last few years, I am particularly pleased that Albright’s involvement this year has expanded to include other artistic disciplines. Throughout the day, the musical and dance talents of Albright’s students will be featured in main stage performances to complement the program schedule. I am thrilled to see yet another exciting arts event become part of our community’s annual offerings.”
Visitors can also explore GoggleWorks’ on-site studio artists, shop local art at The New Store, and special one-day-only screening of the highly anticipated documentary film “A Long Way From Nowhere” at 12 noon, followed by a Q&A session with the featured runner, storyteller, and Exeter High School alumnus, Phil Pinti and mental health practitioner Connor Moriarty.
The Spring Iron Pour and Forge Fest will be held at the GoggleWorks, 201 Washington Street on Saturday, April 29th (rain date May 6th). Forge Fest begins at 12pm. Iron Pour begins at 6:30pm.
If you are looking to experience the process hands on, the multi-week iron pour class is sold out, but the first fifty curious participants will have the opportunity to purchase and prepare their own mold to be later cast in molten iron.