Visit Joseph in Oregon
Travel with Bennett-Watt and discover the town of Joseph in Oregon.
Visit Joseph in Oregon
Male: In North Eastern Oregon the Wallowa Mountain with peaks reaching nearly ten thousand feet are the backdrop to the small town of Joseph Oregon named for the nest first chief Joseph. A community of little more than a thousand residences. It’s made a remarkable transformation from a rural somewhat depressed Timbertown to an art center and tourist destination.
There are seven galleries here with an equal member of permanent bronze sculptures along Joseph’s main street.
Valley Bronze a local foundry established here in 1982 is arguably the moving force in Joseph’s remarkable transformation at least on the art side of the equation. The Valley Bronze Gallery is a show place for artist who have worked with the foundry side of the business. It’s here that tourist in Valley Bronze begin.
Kent Weaver: We don’t do a lot of industrial stuff but a little bit. Mostly just art and we do bronze either culori, or everdur, stainless steel, mild steel and silver. Okay, this piece in here this is where an artist would bring and this is the original out of a clay and they bring in something like that then I would take that and work out to bid to make a mold and a casting of that.
She's pulling the waxes from the molds and pulling them feels like this was still pretty warm.
Female: Yup, that’s all waxed up, now we’re going to lock it up and put it back into the warming oven and then we’ll pour heavy wax in.
Justin Doherty: And the people in this room here are the wax chasers will chase out seam lines, cut windows do that kind of stuff. We’ll get it back to this stage that the original was. And then once it’s been chased in many windows were cut then it goes to the screen room and they’ll screw it up or date it with the wax gates in the top.
And this is the third room and he is just dipping like he does all day long. Dip them in the silicon sand and then on into the binder. It takes about seven days to get a piece through here. You can run them through it quicker if you need too but—just as a normal grind a bit about six to seven days to get the piece through here.
This is the clay. The stuff we already melted down that where it is we just stick it back in the - bowl and we melted down to about 2,000 degrees. Take the shells out of the slurry room drill holes in them. We hope the wax come out and I’ll put them in the oven about 1,250 degrees melt them out and I pull them out and then cool off and then I patch them, I resurface it and wire them and then we put them back in the oven a preheat them to 1250 degrees for about an hour and then we pour that about 2,000 of the metal.
Down here some casting that have come out, other stainless here from the bronze. They give it for hydroelectric power plants. Here's some stainless steel little guys, more little guys. Everybody in here what they do is assemble the cast parts back together. Here are the horses for that piece right here.
A lot of the work that we do here like those particular pieces are trophies for SCI Safari Club International they're never ending it is continuous just take a lot of those when we get back here. So this is the patina room where they put all the patina on everything. This is the custom special piece for a guy and he’s horses all have his own personal brand on them and now we’re waiting for photographs so we can make the horses look like his horses.
Sharon Wilson: And when the pieces come out of patina, there's a quality control and then they are aced and buffed and name plates whatever the clients would like, and ready to be shift anywhere in the world.
Kent Weaver: And this is all, all bronze. The heaviest bronze with the silver plating here and gold plated beak and talon silver plated tail, stainless steel base.
Male: This unique little Oregon Company was responsible for the production of several thousand bronze pieces for the World War II memorial in Washington DC including 4,123 gold plated stainless steel stars. Over 100 to memories and a variety of other features and fountains in the memorial.
Visit Joseph in Oregon
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