Grant #313

FEmale Foundry

September 24, 2018

Did you know FE is the symbol for iron? Now you know why this grantee is the FEmale Foundry.

Maybe you never stopped to think how a piece of iron sculpture gets made. It’s heavy duty work pouring molten metal! Most people don’t usually picture women artists doing that work. The fact is, there aren’t many places where women could actually produce such a thing. Most don’t have access to an iron furnace, the equipment, and the tools to take their art from concept to execution. Sylvia Hardin’s artistic medium is cast iron, but when she and her friends in the sculpture program at the University of Central Arkansas graduated, they no longer had access to the facilities that fostered their talent in metal work. They could move away and take their talents with them, create with what materials are available from hobby stores, or find a different career path.

After visiting and pouring and creating connections with other female iron casters at iron conferences around the USA, Sylvia was inspired by their struggles to create a feminist foundry in Arkansas. This Awesome Without Borders grant will go toward the basic costs of building an iron furnace.

Sylvia and a team of other women artists and supporters dream of the FEmaleFoundry as a center for demonstrating what’s possible if the right tools are available. Check out the heavy metal thunder HERE.



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders