National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art & Practices
March 31 - April 3, 2021
National Historic Landmark
Lived Histories/Imagined Futures
2021 NCCCIAP Theme
Due to the current pandemic, the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices (NCCCIAP) will be held virtually in 2021. We look forward to supplementing and deepening these remote sessions around our 2021 theme, Lived Histories/Imagined Futures. As a guiding frame for engaging the lived histories and future possibilities of cast iron, we will draw from our shared archive, the Pig Iron Rough Notes, and we will produce a new volume of the Rough Notes with contributions from conference participants.
Sloss Furnaces launched the Pig Iron Rough Notes in November, 1926, as a monthly publication with about 600 subscribers, taking its name from the expression, "as rough as pig iron." Despite its small stature, Rough Notes became one of Sloss Furnaces' greatest contributions to the advancement of the foundry trade, as a circulating venue for relevant educational and technical information.
This year, we ask the Fe community to take an introspective look into the history of Sloss Furnaces, including issues of the Rough Notes as well as recorded oral histories of Sloss now held digitally by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Engaging with these records, we encounter moments of community-building and innovation as well as moments of short-sighted exclusion, entwined in the U.S. history of systemic racism. As we join together remotely to imagine the future of cast iron, how might these histories inform what we envision? How might we work to amplify underrepresented voices of the past, and in turn seek to uplift diverse artistic visions in the present? The 2021 conference, Lived Histories/Imagined Futures, holds space for multiple perspectives as we join together in listening to the past and imagining a shared future.