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In 1982 Felix Lehner began collecting the inventories of businesses that were closing in order to obtain the basis for his own foundry. From 1983 on, it was possible to convert a workshop in Beinwil am See, and the first casting was produced there in 1985.

In 1993, the Kunstgiesserei moved into larger workshops in St.Gallen. After time-consuming building conversions, since 1994 increasingly challenging casting commissions have been realized there. And in 1997, the Kunstgiesserei then received its first, important, large commission: the restoration and new casting of the Broderbrunnen in St.Gallen. With ever improving structures and a steadily increasing staff, the Kunstgiesserei has since then realized projects for artists and institutions working internationally.

As a result of the years long collaboration with Hans Josephsohn, in 2002 the Kunstgiesserei initiated the Kesselhaus Josephsohn – studio, storage, and exhibition space in one. The Kesselhaus Josephsohn thus makes it possible to experience the work of the sculptor in the changing situations in which the work is presented.

The Kunstgiesserei has also housed the extensive Art Library of the Swiss collector Daniel Rohner since 2001. In 2003, an additional hall was leased in order to systematize, catalogue, and make the approximately 25,000 volumes accessible to the public.

The Art Library also houses the collection of samples that the Kunstgiesserei has assembled over decades of experimentation in craft. Since 2004, the collection has been systematically converted into a Material Archive and archived in cooperation with other collections of materials and substances.

And finally, a guest studio was set up in direct proximity to the Kunstgiesserei in order to also facilitate close collaboration and reciprocal inspiration with the artists.

In order to provide all these non-commercial initiatives with a framework and a sustainable financial basis, the Sitterwerk Foundation was established in 2006. With its involvement in the Sitterwerk, the Kunstgiesserei pursues an animated exchange with scholars, art mediators, and producers of art that goes far beyond the boundaries of craft.

You can find more details about the beginnings of the Kunstgiesserei here.