In my non-photographer life I work for my husband’s law office.  We are a great team and we work hard.  sm-5368crop_smBut, well, we don’t actually make anything tangible.  When a case is over there really isn’t anything you can point at and say ‘there it is, that’s what we made.’  sm-5390smThat got me thinking.  There are a lot of folks out there making things – creating treasures that last.   I love that concept.  So, I gave myself the assignment to find at least one “creating something” subject a month to document this year.  sm-5517smAlthough I took these photos last year on a whim, they embrace what I envision.  So, I’ll start with these!


The photos were taken at IronGlass Lighting in the Four Corners area of Bozeman.  To see the finished products from this quality company, click on the highlighted link above – I’m just showing the process.  Love process!sm-5315bw_sm

While IronGlass Lighting specializes in light fixtures, and do extremely well at that, these folks are super talented and I bet they end up doing other creations as well when asked.


Andy and I have known the owner and one of the employees for years and find them to be first-rate people as well as extremely hard workers.IMG_5448bw_sm

Not to be sexist (I certainly believe women can do any job!), I was surprised a bit by the fact that half of the crew that I saw were women.  These women welders are so talented.  Who could ask for better subjects  to photograph!sm-5506smLest you think just anyone can pick up this kind of work on a few days training, I know the woman in the photo below earned an arts degree in metal work – she invested well in her skills and her work shows the benefit of her education.  This is not some “just until I find something better” job.

sm-5585bw_edited-1I was also impressed with the muscle it takes to do this work.  The tools are heavy.  The materials are heavy.  The finished products are heavy.  Muscles are a given when I think about it, but it took actually watching them at work to become aware of that detail.

As you would expect big precautions abound!  Heat is everywhere!  A person like me who is not familiar has to be careful not to endanger myself or anyone else by moving in a clumsy way.  If you know me, you know I was multi-tasking to get the photos and not be clumsy all at the same time.IMG_5416_sm

I expected welding.  

sm-5402smAnd use of the forge was not a surprise either – super cool, but not a surprise.

sm-5509smWhat did surprise me was the amount of grinding, and the beautiful drama of the grinding sparks flying!  Impressive – like mini fireworks all around the workers.

I hope you like this concept of photographing folks making/producing something.  If I get suggestions for a company that is local enough for me to get there, I will give serious consideration to getting there and doing a shoot. 

One thing I’m kind of missing in my planning is a company that does something with wood.  I know, seems so basic, but if you know an artisan who works with wood and wouldn’t mind being photographed, I’d love to hear about it.

Look for the next installment of this project – Producers – on the 10th of February.  I can hardly wait to get started!

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