The mission of The SteelSunSage Project is to inspire people to find beauty in every environment and appreciate the essence of what makes it unique. 

The SteelSunSage Project Presents

The Homestead Works dominated an industry and defined a community for more than 100 years. Before Pittsburgh was the metropolitan City of Bridges, it was the Smokey City. Immigrant workers took over steel jobs that paid well despite dangerous conditions and resulting in sacrificed skies.

Pittsburgh’s steel built the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building, not to mention miles upon miles of steel rail leading people to the West. This steel made the world-famous “Ferris Wheel” come alive at the 1893 Chicago World Fair as well as form the Panama Canal’s lock gates.

After a century, the steel industry came to a close in the 1980s and many workers were left unemployed or working for a foreign company. The loss for Pittsburgh after the steel industry boom faded was devastating, but allowed the championship character of Pittsburgh to shine as the future grew brighter and new industries emerged with clean, bright skies.  – S.N.

Steel 2: Carrie Furnaces

Steel 2 was shot at Carrie Furnaces National Historic Site, Rankin, PA and Steel 1 at the Homestead Works historic site, Homestead, Pennsylvania. I aimed to focus on the simple beauty and captivating past that is engraved amid every dent and weathered texture adorning these authentic industrial remains.


Steel 3 was shot at The Pittsburgh Foundry in Lawrenceville, PA. Their appropriate motto is “Metallic Strength Since 1901″. Unlike the first two site for Portfolios 1 and 2, this site is an actual working company. Much of the site is a treasure trove of metal casting history and some areas are still functional while partnering with other foundries on current metals projects.
“1901. The first Roosevelt was in office. Assembly lines began to hum, the Pirates won the NL Pennant, and the family-owned Pittsburgh Foundry and Machine Company opened its huge wooden doors. Now with over 100 years under our belts, we continue to provide superior, well-manufactured metals at competitive prices so you can grow your business. Maintain your reputation for quality with our responsive and knowledgeable service. Get ahead of the competition with our quick turnarounds. And depend on us as a partner, as we’re proud to be family owned and operated.” –

About The SteelSunSage Project
Sarah Nelsen Designs’ exhibition, The SteelSunSage Project, is made up of three portfolios inspired by the history and beauty of three diverse environments that have been key influences in Nelsen’s life and work. 
The first two Steel galleries are featured online. The Sun and Sage portfolios will be revealed throughout the upcoming year.

Steel | Western Pennsylvania | Endurance, Faith, History
Sun | Southern California | Fortitude, Diversity, Modernism
Sage | Northwest Wyoming | Love, Cultivation, Adventure

July 7, 2014