Sunday, 16 January 2011


On Assignment this week I was asked to make a photograph for an Irish Arts publication
The proposal was to go to Cast Bronze Foundry and Photograph the artist and foundry man
Leo Higgins pouring Bronze.

So heres how it went. I met Mel O Reilly down at the foundry at half ten friday morning.
We went in and met Leo who gave us a demo as he poured a small bronze with one of his skilled team Henry.
The pouring of metal in this way is such a ritual and has been done for thousands of years
I felt humbled to do work in front of two men who performed flawlessly time after time to carry out the poetic movements which ultimately give birth to a work of art.
We then had an hour to get set up while the next crucible of hot metal became molten.
We settled on an exposure of 1/8th of a second @f4(wide open)
Needless to say our biggest problem was focus in such low light but we held it across the critical part of the shot.It took two takes with some more melting of metals in between but we left satisfied that we had all that we needed in the bag.

I had worked for Leo before,I had photographed some of his works,and I had photographed pieces from artists who used his foundry.But It was only through talking with him between shots that I saw the depth of his character, and the love that he had for his craft and the craft of others.
In a world of hedge funds,futures, quantitative easing,and Financial products it is good to see real product being produced,especially in a once off never to be repeated kind of way.
Artistic expression is indeed a truly liberating force for all concerned,Cast is a stage on which this is played out, and during those moments of creative bliss we are momentarily detached from all of the chains forged by National and indeed international Governments.The more we create the more freedom of spirit we achieve.
Until of course we have to go and buy some groceries!
At this point we realise that all art is commerce,and the value placed on artistic endeavor is actually arrived at by bankers,speculators,and actuaries.
I suppose it was this which prompted Oscar Wilde to say "It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art"
A quote which as with many a Wildean nugget always brings a smile to my face!
So Heres to production and indeed to work /life balance!!!
Big thanks again to Mel O Reilly for all her help.
And Indeed to Leo Higgins for giving my spirit a lift just when I needed it.
Comments are always appreciated,and indeed needed to fuel ones worth!
please use the share buttons below and/or the follow this blog button on the top right


  1. Fantastic photograph David!
    ...and truly magic place

  2. Hey thanks Jeannette,Artur. In the presence of a Master on this one
    and not a drop spilled!!

  3. ...nice shot David, loads of atmosphere. Conn.

  4. thanks conn,hope all is good on the coast!
    thanks maciej and welcome!

  5. smoke and fire crashing onto a good play of light. very nice shot!

  6. Great shot Dave. I remember seeing it in the Arts Review and talking about it in your studio. We have to catch up soon for a chat and a coffee!