Patterns of Meaning


In late June 2021, Pittsburgh artist, preservationist Cory Bonnet and scrap dealer Chip Barletto acquired an unprecedented collection of foundry patterns dating from the late 1890’s to early 1900’s and blue prints- thousands of each.  Ten 26 foot box trucks have been moved so far, with another four or so to go. It is a massive undertaking.

The wooden patterns were hand built to exacting specification, then packed in foundry sand to create the molds used to cast steel parts.  Massive gears, crankshafts, valves, railcar wheels- just about anything needed to build the infrastructure of the late 1800-early 1900’s industrial world. Patterns of Meaning is on permeant exhibit at Bonnet’s studio at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh’s Historic Hill District. 

IG and FB: @corybonnetstudio  @patterns_of_meaning


Wonderful Article by: Jim Vinoski, Forbes

The Barn

I stood at the top of steps speechless. Chip Barletto,  a scrap metal dealer from New Castle, PA was standing in the Barn with an ear to ear grin “I told you! I told you, you were gonna look around at the barn, look me- look around at the barn, look at me- and be speechless!”

The scale of it all, thousands of pristine, albeit dusty, wooden foundry patterns were stacked and piled floor to ceiling on the second floor of the 80’x40′ barn. It was incredible.

Chip was use to working in steel mills his entire life, where terms like “big” and “a lot” take on completely new meanings from the outside world. The scale of everything in the mills is magnitudes greater than ordinary objects.

I found my voice, “Let’s start moving.”

Photos by: Tim Hickman