Friday, October 3, 2014

Fittings & Dies

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL:  It took a long time for me to find the right treatment for this composition, and it was hard to give up some of the bright colors that punctuated it, but in the end my eye wanted evenness, clarity and detail to wander through. It is best viewed large. This is one more in a series of manufacturing stations that I began assembling four years ago. Sometimes the stations have been long abandoned, essential items removed or altered, curious items added. Sometimes they are still in daily use and the objects are of the moment.

Dies and fittings such as these were a prominent feature of the brass mill. Metal racks and shelves, both round and square, filled every alley and space between the long draw benches and expansion benches used to work cold tube. In the far back on the left is the giant extruder. Before the pipe can be worked on the benches it must be run through the pointers, right middle-ground. Part of the expander bench can be seen in the row behind the desk.

I knew the man who worked this station, but whatever station he worked, I knew he had been working there by the way he left his gloves. I took this photograph six months after the factory closed; I’d never known him to leave his shoes.