Rotterdam Photo

Roderik van Nispen

Metalworker: a series of portraits.


Metal is involved in everything we use. A day without metal is impossible, but where all that metal is processed, what is made of it, and especially by whom, was unclear to me. I could name the blast furnaces and the blacksmith, but I didn’t get much further.

Over the past 1.5 years I have been looking for where in the Netherlands those products come from and more importantly, who processes that metal.

In the Netherlands we have a diversity of metal workers. Still.

But the metal industry is innovating at a rapid pace due to technological developments and, moreover, the workforce is under pressure due to an aging population. 

Many young people are too ‘highly’ educated and do not want dirty hands. Knowledge and therefore the specialists are in danger of being lost.

What I saw are proud craftsmen who make high-quality products, I made a journey through metal, from the blast furnaces where the ore is converted into coarse base metal to the skate sharpener that sets world records. I made over 250 portraits in all disciplines.


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Rotterdam Photo

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