09 Feb Museum of cast-iron art of Maremma
Museum of cast-iron art of Maremma
The museum, located in the rooms of the San Ferdinando foundry, was born from an intention of recounting the story of the people and the production of the steel plant of Follonica.
The ancient walls of this building, in operation for the entire 19th century, come back to life in an interactive multimedia setup in which the visitor becomes an active part of the working of cast-iron and becomes aware of the immense human contribution to the mining history of this region.
At the beginning of the exhibit you meet the imposing structure of the blastfurnace: an avalanche of sheets of different materials recreates the various phases of production: the sheets below, red, for the lighting of the furnace; the metallic ones in the middle remind of the mineral thrown into the furnace together with the carbon and finally the transparent sheets above represent the smoke. On the walls of the blastfurnace the immages of the shadows of the workers come to life, then a casting of redhot iron covers the walls and make them incandescent. In the casting various cracks open up, more and more of them until Follonica with its amazing sea appears.
The art, the history, the production
The art: the first floor is dedicated to the school o f the ornate and linear design founded by Leopold II with the intention of making the foundries into proper artistic studios.
The production of cast-iron for urban furniture accomplished excellent results and the most significant works were gathered in the Getti catalogue, which the visitor can leaf through virtually here.
The last look in this section is for the two most important works of Follonica, the Church of San leopoldo and the Monumental Gate of the Foundries, planned by Alessandro Manetti and Carlo Reihsammer.
The history: the second floor of the building is a walk through the history of the metallurgic tradition that made Follonica one of the main industrial hubs of Italy in the 19th century. The path moves through the natural resources of the region, with stops on the working of iron in Etruscan times, the meaningful contribution of human resources in the development of the metal-working industry in Maremma, the transport infrastructure from the raw resources to the finished product, and on the use of cast-iron in the world, especially in urban furniture.
The production: the basement is an incredibly interesting place, where through capably restored spaces like the coal stores and the mouth of the furnace you walk through the various phases of the working process. The visitor with the help of an interactive panel, the Fusion game, becomes an active character in the fusion process of iron, calibrating directly the loading of the furnace to get the perfect cast-iron.
The educational workshops
The educational workshops inisde the museum allow students to get closer to the various disciplines which the process of artistic metalworking comprises with the possibility of creating a model from wood or clay, the mold and the actual casting in tin.
MAGMA: door to the national techological park of the metallic Grossetan hills
The National Technological and Archeological Park of the Metallic Grossetan Hills The is home to the places and testaments to the mining activities of the Grossetan hills. In the rooms of the MAGMA ticket office the Gate to the Park of Follonica is housed: welcome and information point and center for informative documentation.
Info and contacts
Via Bicocchi – Follonica
Telephone: Museum +39 0566 59027
Tickets and prices
Regular € 5.00
Riduced € 4.00 (12-18 years and university students, Over 65, groups of 15 or more and affiliated associations)
Schools € 2.00
Free (under 12, teachers with classes, guides with groups, disabled with companion, Icom, Mibac, Edumuseicard)