Artisans Of Australia – Iron Craft

Australian Workers Film Guide


A short documentary exploring work practices in an iron foundry in Newtown, Sydney, which is narrated by Jack Thomas, a foundry worker who started at age fourteen in 1939. The film opens with shots of artisan ironwork on heritage homes in Sydney before moving into the foundry where Jack Thomas is seen preparing and pouring molds as well as preparing the mold furnace. The skilled artisan demonstrates and explains the process of creating ironwork and mentions that it is a dying artform since young people are uninterested in this kind of work. He relates how hundreds of foundries have closed across the country since the 1970s. The film contains atmospheric footage of foundry workers performing their trade in scenes that resemble a bygone era of heavy industry.

Special Notes/Achievements

Produced by Film Australia for the Australian Heritage Commission.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 16 mins 42 secs

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Film Cinematographer: Ross King, Bruce Gailey,

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