Is a project about our double reality: of being an artist and also having a job for a living; of being informed, active, creative and also investing time and energy in things outside the art world. It is about how to adjust the mystified image of what it is to be am artist (just someone who does his work waiting to be ‘discovered’) to the reality of what it is to be an artist (a profession like any other, supposing social interaction, managing your career, doing projects, etc.). That it’s so general and universal that you could think that to have your time split between two different kinds of working is part of the artist condition. I just wanted by this project to invite people to talk about an important aspect of their lives, about an important aspect of their lives, about something that shape their everyday life. And to transform the exact thing that could be a limitation for an artist in a subject for art.

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( transcript ) Before having the foundry, Mr. Geo had a food shop. Then, Sanyi Bacsi talked him into building a foundry. That’s how, in 1995, this foundry came to be.
The first years were difficult but with time, business started to develop. They would only take industrial orders, working in collaboration with Mr. Cretu, who also had a foundry.
At one point, business got so good that Mr. Geo decided to run the company on his own. He started taking a larger array of orders. Mr. Cretu’s foundry became a competitor, which created some new challenges.
Mr. Sanyi Bacsi being a specialist, the business ran quite smoothly. Unfortunately, he passed away.
Most of the time, the material used in the foundry is aluminum, a really easy material to work with. Aluminum is softer than others metals; it melts down faster. I believe 300°F is enough. In general, you build only industrial pieces with aluminum. And that’s what most of the orders are for.
Some artists come to the foundry to do their sculptures, usually in bronze. Every now and then, some want to use aluminum instead. We make the industrial pieces in all kinds of different shapes. We don’t know what they are for, but we’ve already made millions of pieces.
In the beginning, foundering was done with sand. This ancient method was a very difficult one. To start you put the shapes in the frame; sand was then added and hammered strongly. Then the second frame was then put over and covered in dust so it wouldn’t stick togheter . More sand was then added and the piece hammered again, left to dry until the shape was set.
This process had to be carried out for each piece. A really nerve wrecking task… one mistake, and you’d have to start all over again. Rubbing down the pieces is another really difficult task. It’s a very meticulous and important step that requires lots of energy, strength and patience.
It’s not easy to polish a piece; it can’t be done just any old way. Imagine when ten, a hundred, or even a thousand pieces have to be polished in large orders.
Mr. Nicu deals with this, he is the polishing boss… and Mr. Dutu is some sort of trade-union boss; he speaks all the time with the others employees about their problems. He is also a good joker.
I always see Ms. Marie and Mr. Mircea pouring Aluminium in Steel Molds; this is their job most of the time. The smelter is hardly ever turned off.
Mr. Costel usually works in the afternoon, while the rest of the team works the morning shift. But they usually stay working until late at night. Actually, there is no fixed timetable. It all depends on the orders the foundry needs to handle.
Mr. Costel usually make the molds, but he also pours metals or rubs down the pieces.
I didn’t mention the loose wax technique used by Mr. Geo since 2000, introduced thanks to the good will of Luigi St. Varga, sculptor.
If foundering with “sand” is relatively difficult, the loose wax technique is truly complex. This technique is also called precision foundering.
Peter Jeta, one of the best-known contemporary artists in town, has most of his sculptures made here. We make many of them, by the dozens… but most are made using the same model; in this sense, we are an industrial foundry.
I deal mostly with this section of the foundry, doing the negatives for the works, that is the mould making. I pour the wax, place the sewers and do the cast. For the form foundering we have the chief-founders.
The wax foundering, the form asks for a different method: you pour the fire-proof material mixed with gypsum over the wax form. When it hardens, the piece goes in the oven until it reaches 500°, the temperature at which wax evaporates. With the wax gone, there will be an empty space left in the fire-proof mould. The bronze is poured here (in that hole). Once it has cooled, you still need to grind it. And there, you have a bronze piece.
Mr. Mircea is an expert with the drilling machine. He has precision and experience.
There is a cheerful atmosphere in the studio, with lively conversation and many funny jokes. But when it’s time to work, it’s time to work!
There are two smelters in the foundry. Mr. Dutu is the most knowledgeable, having many years of experience in the field. He is also good at cheering up the team, telling all kinds of jokes. And Mr. Geo knows how to be present at the right time; he’s not the kind of boss that stays all day long in the office.
Usually everything goes by the book, but we sometimes loose some material. If this happens, it’s not a problem, because the melted material will simply be reused. This is the market economy….
We make the best quality pieces in Mr. Geo’s foundry, whether they are industrial, artisanal, sculptures or whatever… Everybody feels happy at the end of the workday. Once you get used to this job, you might even say it’s the best job ever.
Lucky me that I have the opportunity to be here!