The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts

 

Founding (non-ferrous metals)

 

The casting of non-ferrous metals, such as bronze, brass, gunmetal etc. See the separate entry for bell founding.

 

Status Currently viable
Craft category  Metal
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised  UK
Origin in the UK  Bronze Age
Minimum no. of craftspeople required
Current no. of trainees
Current no. of skilled craftspeople
Current total no. of craftspeople

 

History

The number of foundries is falling as part of a domino-effect from the loss of the British steel industry. For example, there used to be 140 foundries in Middlesborough, alongside a foundry college – today there is only one non-ferrous foundry left.

 

Techniques

The basic principles of founding are to create a wooden pattern of the item to be case which is then used to make a mould. The pattern is removed and the void is filled with molten metal. Once the metal has cooled, the casting is ‘fettled’ to finish it.

There are different types of casting, including greensand casting and CO2 casting.

 

Local forms

 

Sub-crafts

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

 

Support organisations

 

Craftspeople currently known

A list of foundries can be found on the UK Foundries and Scottish Foundries websites. This list includes both ferrous and non-ferrous foundries. The Cast Metals Federation website also offers a search facility for foundries.

 

Other information

 

References