Lonaconing Silk Mill – Part 2 (Patterns, Lines, and Shapes)

During the Lonaconing shoot last December (my first visit to the mill), I made the acquaintance of Craig Rudlin.  After the shoot, when we were all sharing our images via email or over the web, Craig put out a call for picture contributions for a photography book he wanted to put together.  I submitted a few photos to the cause, and we began to email back and forth, and then, last month Barb and I did a day trip to Richmond to visit Craig’s  Gallery 4600 to attend the opening a new show he and Matt Cowan were staging.  When I saw Craig again at the silk mill, he told me he had a couple of gaps in the book, and he needed some pictures that emphasized patterns, lines, and shapes. Cool, I now had an assignment for the weekend!

The first of these photos was taken in the basement area of the mill.  I found this face next to a group of machines.  Obviously, someone in the 55 years since mill was closed had a sense of humor and built this face from pieces of scrap.  It has been around a while, as testified by the amount of rust that has flaked of the right “eye”.I found the next two images in another section of the basement, a place in which, I believe, the mill’s maintenace functions were performed.  This first photograph is a section of a semi-circular panel that contains the manual adjustment controls for an old metal lathe. I focused on just one corner of the panel, winding up with a photo consisting primarily of a simple curved line along with the straight lines at the top, and circles circles of the rusting bolt and washer.  This image also works pretty well in black and white.Only  few feet away from the lathe are several drums that have been sitting there for over half a century, containing lubricants for the machine upstairs.  I was attracted by both the color of the old ESSO drum, as well as by the repeating circular shapes.

This final photograph was made in the second floor machine room, next to the office.  I was attracted by both the parallelism of the vertical pipes leading up pressure relase valve, as well as by the relative brilliance of the metal against the old brick wall.

I have sent Craig a DVD with these and some other photos from the weekend, hoping that one or two might make the cut for the book.  If you get a chance, take a look and Craig and Matt’s individual websites:  www.rudlinfineart.com and www.cowanfineart.com.  They both do great work, and I am sure you will enjoy their images.  You can also look up Craig’s Gallery 4600 on Facebook.