PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL: I’m trying to get back to the factory once a week for as long as I can. No power means no lights. It’s not good; it’s not bad; it just is. As I photograph I’m often aware of work going on in some distant corner. Occasionally Charlie passes on one of the little factory tow tractors, but most of the time I feel solitary in my mission. Here and there on various benches I can see where parts have been gathered. The annealer lies like an eviscerated beast, pipes and rollers that might as well be intestines have been pulled out and lie sprawling every which way in the passage. The extruder’s great ram has been disarmed, but more often than not things are as they were left when work ceased last winter and calendars stopped turning.
Work at the foundry stopped first, and I found it too painful to photograph the great wheel coming to rest. Now that work has ceased entirely, the factory is already taking on the aura of a historical relic or archeological site, and I'm back. Without the constant motion of the working factory and men as subjects for photographs, I have the leisure to focus on what has been left behind as it is slowly dispersed and discarded and as bit by bit the purposeful actions of men pushing back chairs or setting down tools succumbs to irreversible entropy and Brass Valley and 200 years of evolved culture passes into history.
Some special photos must be saved for the book, and so I zoom in close and look for new directions.