The last foundry in Kirkintilloch. Archibald Young Ltd by P Monaghan.

A few years ago I was involved in a project to create a video called "Shoulder to Shoulder" for East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture.

The project documented the history of the Lion and Star foundry that made up a lot of the workforce in Kirkintilloch and surrounding areas.

Objects from these foundries can be seen around the world even today and include things like the red phone and post boxes but sadly the advances in materials like plastic replaced the need for these foundry's and soon followed a loss of jobs, skills and money for the small town.

What people don't realise is that while the foundries of old are gone, one still stands today surviving by doing specialized work and employing people with many different skills to make it all happen.

The Foundry.

I had the opportunity to go back inside the foundry, this time with my passion for photography along with my son, a few strobes and my trusty Sigma Dp cameras to create these images that I hope you all enjoy.

The pattern store, a whole other set of skills is required to make these but without them the final products can't be made.

Because of the skills and time involved in making the patterns they are often stored for any future orders.

Aluminum ingots in the electric furnace, different types of metals can be melted and mixed here depending on the object being created.

The same ingots later resembling a liquid terminator t-1000, it was fun to watch this as it rolled around, I wasn't sure a still image would do it justice but I love the shapes and textures captured here.

Aluminium isn't the only type of metal melted here and we got another shot earlier of what you would expect to see inside a foundry.

Part of the process is combining the patterns with sand ready for the metal to be poured, they different types of sand here with this image showing the more traditional green sand.

And here's another shot with some final touch's being applied.

I'm not even going to try pretend I know how all of this works so for more info head over to the wiki.

This chemical sand? is more modern than the green sand and what was used for the aluminium ingots.

Part of the sand mold is panted then set on fire.

Two parts of a cast being joined together.

And finally the aluminum being poured into the mould since this was aluminium there was no warm glow or fire but we also got a shot like that from another pour.

After the objects come out of the moulds its off to another room for some more work.

Just one of the many products produced at the foundry.

I can't help but be in awe at the time, skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating objects from a foundry, its a shame that it seems to be a dying trade but one that I am glad to have seen for myself and had the chance to share.

After my experience there I would love to spend time documenting other places like this or visit artisans hiding around the country to record the good work that they are all doing.

A big thank you to the Archibald Young foundry for letting me and my son visit and letting us create the images.

All images were shot on the little Sigma Dp Merrill's which I feel with its unique rendering helped for this type of location, Lights where fired and controlled by Cactus triggers which make my life easy.

Find me on Twitter Facebook Instagram, for more info on the cameras and triggers check out Sigma and Cactus.

Also check out Archibaldyoung Foundry and this local project that I help with Trails + Tales.

Thank you. Paul.

Created By
Paul Monaghan


Paul Monaghan,

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