Exceptional physical condition, extreme weather tolerance and the ability to lift a significant amount of weight, is just the tip of the iceberg, regarding what it takes to be an Ornamental Iron Worker. Now, couple that with beauty, grace, elegance and high-fashion, the end result is “True New Yorker” Porcha Gordon.
Originally from Houston, Texas, currently living in the Bronx, Porcha is an Ornamental Ironworker going on eight years, with an additional career in the industry of high-fashion modeling as well. According to Porcha, the uniqueness of her profession and the impeccable views, are what she loves the most about being an Ornamental Ironworker. What she loves the most about being a model, is being able to dress up and showcase beautiful designs.
One of the challenges of this dual career, was the constant transformation from Ornamental Ironworker to model. Gordon remembers when she first started to model, she was not graceful at all. Her walk made people cringe. She had to learn how to walk all over again. Balancing both professions takes a lot of physical energy out of her, especially, when a show runs late and she gets very little sleep for work the next day. Additionally, she tends to get nicks, cuts and bruises, which can be impose an issue in front of the camera.
When asked if she faced any animosity in such a male dominated industry, Porcha replied, “Not really but occasionally, I get a guy who thinks that he can bully me because I’m a girl”. According to Porcha, due to her size and her looks, she would get a few interesting stares when seen in her hard-hat and construction gear when she first started. Now, those stares have turned in to admiration and people being impressed.
One of her most interesting experiences in her daytime profession, was working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge and in the world of modeling, discovering a whole new universe and being a part of it, which is the opportunity of a lifetime. However, where there is interesting there is also embarrassment. Porcha recalls, a time when she was working over someone not realizing there was a can of “Redbull” in her back pocket. Somehow she crushed the can and it got all over her and her construction pants. She had to continue the rest of the day working in her leggings. Another awkward moment for Porcha was when she was modeling. She was wearing patterned “granny panties” which happened to faintly show through her outfit.
Porcha’s busy schedule between careers does actually allow for some downtime. During the few moments she does have for herself, Porcha cherishes the time she spends with her friends, as well as playing in all things makeup. She also likes to participate in beauty classes and catch up on sleep, which according to Gordon, sleep is boring but it’s the best thing ever.
Once finished with her journey of self discovery, Porcha eventually wants to travel the world with her best friend. For now she will continue to maintain two careers and continue the path she has been following which makes her great grandmother proud. Although her great grandmother is no longer with us, she is still Porcha’s greatest influence in life.