The artifacts of Valese Foundry are realized in a suggestive laboratory-shop overlooking the north lagoon, near Madonna dell’Orto, not far from Palazzo Contarini.
Once inside I immediately felt the magical atmosphere of a timeless place, where workers follow the rhythms and rules of ancient craft.
The active smelter since 1913, still uses the traditional technique, called “the bracket method worked at anchor”. The workers were very friendly and willing to explain and show me the process (you can book your visit by calling): they use the sand of Fontainebleau to leave an imprint in the wooden mold of the original model to reproduce, then after extracting the model, they prepare a system of channels in which the molten metal, sliding on the sand, completes the final shape of the article.
I was really surprised to learn that they often still use old molds, many of which are from the eighteenth century, to create elegant objects in gold, silver, copper and brass that look like jewels: items like chandeliers and antique-inspired furniture elements, but also ornamental pieces on mythological themes, the most famous Venetian monuments reproductions, gondola bronze ornaments polished and accessories commonly used as doorbells, handrails, handles and knobs (also tailor-made).
Not to forget the metal molds created for glass factories and the traditional “musi da porton”, swinging jaws with lions that hold the knocker ring.