Artisans: James Virgo, Bronze Foundry.
This shoot was with James Virgo who worked out of a foundry in Charlton. I arrived as James was preparing molds containing either hooks or the amazing bow ties he designs. The black sand has been used hundreds of times before and I could tell how experienced James was at working with it to make the very detailed molds. In the background I could hear the furnace roaring as the bronze got up to working temperature (about 1000º) and soon it was ready to go. James and his assistant Nathan carefully carried the bronze across the workshop to be poured, and it was then I witnessed something new for all of us! As the bronze hit the outside of the cold mold too quickly there was a loud bang and a big shower of metal and sparks. I’m quite glad my camera’s viewfinder blacks out for a split second when I take a photo! I did however capture the moment quite well I think, I’m sure you’ll be able to spot it.
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