The Carrie Furnaces
Sandra Gould Ford
Sandra Gould Ford is an author, artist and educator who presents literary and visual art to encourage, refresh, enrich creative thinking and inspire. Sandra has taught nationwide and has won awards and critical praise for her magazine and book-length publications. She founded a creative writing program at a 3,000-inmate criminal corrections institution and developed an international literary magazine as well as two writers conferences.
Sandra earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Pittsburgh with substantive study in non fiction. She has received Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Dow Creativity Center. She has conducted arts workshops through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, Ragdale, Millay, Djerassi, and Hedgebrook.
As a photographer, contemplative artist and quilt maker, Sandra Gould Ford’s work has toured the country and is in both public and private collections. She is an active member of The Authors Guild and Science Fiction Writers of America and has been a member of the American Society of Media Photographers. In 2017, MacArthur Fellow LaToya Ruby Frazier built an exhibition around Sandra's "Steel Genesis" collection. [See BOMB article: https://bombmagazine.org/articles/from-metal-to-mettle-sandra-gould-ford-interview/]
Sandra Gould Ford explores the human experience through the arts while sharing her skills and talents.
"I have long been fascinated by and compelled to document the remnants of SW Pennsylvania's steel and iron-making. My intent is to show beauty in unexpected places, stimulate the imagination and explore mythical themes. In November, 2018, I joined the year’s last tour with a palm-sized Nikon. I photographed in low-light and on the run then developed vivid, painterly images in my digital darkroom. The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in Rankin, Pennsylvania, USA. The remaining furnaces (6 and 7) were built in 1907. (First furnaces were built in 1881.) These blast furnaces melted iron ore, coke and limestone to make the molten iron from which steel could be produced. They operated until 1978 and generated over 1,000 tons of molten iron a day. Carrie Furnaces 6 and 7 rise ninety-two feet above the Monongahela River. They are a gunshot and shout from the site of the Battle of Homestead. There, in 1892, United States history was changed when steelworkers striking for better wages and working conditions fought to keep Pinkertons from delivering replacement labor. Each furnace’s walls are 2.5" thick steel plate, lined with refractory brick and are extremely rare examples of pre World War II iron-making technology. In addition to furnaces 6 and 7, the 135-acre site preserves the blowing engine house, hot blast stoves, cast house, car dumper and stock house. National Historic Landmark status was bestowed in 2006.
People interested in accessing more about this work could visit either of these web sites:
* http://steelgenesis.com (the website devoted to the vanished J&L Steel Mill)
* http://industrialchic.imagekind.com (I'm just beginning to install work-industrial images at this online gallery)
* https://www.mudam.lu/en/expositions/details/exposition/latoya-ruby-frazier/ (Information about my "Steel Genesis" images will be part of an exhibition at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean.)