Tucked away on the northern end of Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor is a group of artists with decades of bronze casting experience.
In 1993, artists Beth Sahagian-Allsopp and Michael Nolte left Milwaukee’s Bronze Heart art foundry to start a foundry of their own. Three years later, the business partners opened Vanguard Sculpture Services, whose artists not only craft artwork of their own but can bring the work of others to life with bronze.
Communication is key for the Vanguard team. When a piece of artwork is removed from the kiln at approximately 1,800 degrees and is placed on the pour floor, the pour team has just eight minutes to cast the bronze into a ceramic mold before either the molten bronze or the artwork becomes too cool.
“It’s not only about being safe, but also about being super-efficient,” Sahagian-Allsopp said. “So, everybody has to be in top form when they are on the pour floor.”
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