I’m Clarke Easterling, I spent the early part of my life as a machinist. I was eager to learn every single aspect of the trade. At the age of 19, I purchased used machinery for my own use at home to put my ideas into reality. The cost of material often put a damper on many projects. It never made sense to machine off more than 1/3 of the material’s volume to produce any part so the desire to create castings for myself evolved from there. I, as a machinist always thought of foundry work as menial labor, hot, dirty, dangerous conditions that produced the perfect environment for black lung along with heavy, back breaking work. For the most part I was right with one exception, this is far from menial work. Every single aspect of it requires an endless knowledge, complete focus, drive beyond your limits, extreme patience and perfection. Even then there is no guarantee of an acceptable casting on the first piece. There is so much more involved with operating a foundry than an outsider will ever see. The molding techniques, the chemistry involved with all the compositions of molding materials, the core binders and their processes, the final product and it’s inoculate, the research and development that went into creating, maintaining successful-efficient and consistent melts. All of this has been the biggest challenge of my life. Creating Windy Hill Foundry LLC was a destiny I never saw coming until a decade ago. It was not planned but there was a need for it and I see that more clearly each day. With most castings produced in India, China and other countries, I wanted to do my part to spark some energy back into American made products and WHF has had a small part to play in that movement. My goals are to have product lines that will soon start showing up on my site that are cast right here in Mississippi. The first product is to be unveiled mid-2020 and with this and other products come machining opportunities for the surrounding areas. I currently work in quality for an aerospace company and operate WHF as a side business. At 55 (3 more years), my plan is to take early retirement and open WHF up to 16hr days opposed to the 8 it operates currently. Meanwhile WHF is growing, taking on new customers and always striving for continuous improvement.