Friday, July 27, 2018

Removing a Distributor Cup

This Wednesday, August 1, at 6:30 PM

Finding Brass Valley

A Place in Time that Has 

Almost Vanished

New Canaan Public Library
151 Main St., New Canaan, CT

PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL:  The runner box has been removed. It directed liquid metal from the casting furnace to two, perforated distributor cups to break up the flow and prevent bubbles of gas from forming in the freshly poured billet. Mike removes the first distributor cup in preparation for opening the casting furnace and removing two, new, blisteringly hot, scarlet billets.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tender Care – Contented Cow

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: While I was away in Maine biking, hiking, exploring with my family, and making photographs with my daughter and grandson, I received the following note from Michael Zients of the Sharon Historical Society:
"I hope you're enjoying your vacation. While you've been away the judges for Farm to Table awarded your photograph "Tender Care - Contented Cow" First Prize. Congratulations!"

I am honored and humbled at such a wave of good fortune and grateful to all, including my family, SHS, Luke Tanner and an unnamed cow, who helped make these two weeks so sweet.

Maine pictures to follow soon.

The exhibit. "Farm to Table,” with works by many artists continues at the Sharon Historical Society ( through August 24.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNAL:   Too often we only come to appreciate things after they have passed. When Mike, Willy, Damir and Lucio were still pouring hot billets of metal in the casting shop across the yard, I never gave this desolate rod mill the attention it deserved. 

Most abandoned factories are quickly stripped of all that is of value, and there’s little left to tell what people once made there. The rod mill was different. The eastern aisles were still lined with machines, though I didn’t always know their purpose, but there were no workers to help a novice see how it all came together to make things.

Operations in the ancient mills of American Brass finally ceased in December, 2013, after Congress famously “sequestered" funds in the tax battles of what feels like another era. In 2014 I came to enjoy making pictures in the creaking, rattling silences of the rod mill; it seemed I could almost discern the trajectories and occasionally the spirits of those who once worked there.

It was then that I first noticed the American flag hanging on west-facing windows beside a loading bay. It was a natural subject. Had I previously missed it, or was it added after the factories closed? The flag retained the triangular creases of traditional fold. In the shadows on the wall beneath the flag was a board with pictures of 12 antique, classic cars. Was this the remnant of someone’s work station or a memorial to a fellow worker? What else does it speak about?