Today I’m pulling a few photographs from a couple of visits to the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The park is the location of an old civil war era furnace that melted ore to formed “pigs” of iron which were used by the Confederacy. At the height of production Tannehill could turn out 22 tons of iron a day. It was destroyed on March 31, 1865 when three companies of the Eighth Iowa Cavalry swept through the area lead by the Union General James H. Wilson.
Today the park consists of more than 1,500 acres located inside of three counties. It offers hiking, camping and outdoor recreation. A miniature railroad chugs through the pines. From spring through fall, the blacksmith, miller and craftsmen demonstrate their trades. Among these is a young potter named Bryan Jordan. Bryan is the owner of Wheel Turned Pottery, and specializes in cookware and Raku Pottery.
I met Bryan a few years ago and he was gracious enough to allow me to photograph him working. The next season, I happened to meet him again and had to take a few more pictures. These are actually some of my most favorite images taken at the park. It’s funny because I don’t take many people pictures. However, I find that I do enjoy photographing people while they are doing something. Go figure, sometimes you learn things about yourself that can’t be explained.