• General

    We Did It!!

    It’s up!  
    I’ve had a few sleepless nights lately, and yesterday I nearly wore a whole through the carpet in anticipation, although we were thwarted by the weather.  All in the name of intalling the Olympic Legacy Wall at Kirk Hallam (KHCTSC)
    Today, the weather was a little kinder, and the rain held off.  A few hairy moments when it was being lifted onto it’s brackets, as it’s so heavy, it’s there, and I think it looks rather good!
    I will come back later and post a more detailed account of the project and fill in any gaps from before, but I am just so excited, pleased (and relieved!) to see it up, I had to post this image – including scaffolding and humans to give you an idea of scale.  It is placed around 3 metres up from the ground to the lower edge, glad I didn’t have to climb the scaffold tower!
    The Olmypic Legacy Wall
  • General

    More on the Legacy Wall….

    Been a while since I posted about this….it’s a faily slow process really, as it is a matter of juggling days that the school were available, lots of patience waiting for clay to dry, and then kilns to fire and cool down again.  This amount of tiles took several firings!
    A few weeks ago, the year 10s at KHCTSC made the 48 tiles that are going to make up the final artwork, this isnt’an exact one, but a sample we did first to test the technique, the clay and the kiln itself. 

    Sample Tile
     We used a heavily grogged terracotta clay from Valentines Clays in Stoke (where else?) – this clay, as well as being strong, has loads of texture to add interest, and is forgiving to work with!  We sliced into approximately one inch thick slabs that were then ‘stamped’ with the plaster blocks the students had made at a previous section.  Each tile is a different shape, each one hand made, and each one stamped with a different selection of plaster blocks.  As all the students made one or two each, there’s lots of lovely variety – some students chose to stamp with one design on a tile, some with only part sections and different designs, and another was multiple stamped with the same design.  I loved the diversity and it felt like the students really ‘got’ my idea about being free and random with it – it can be quite difficult to convey the process as its quite lengthy – it isn’t possible to demonstrate this from start to finish, only in stages, so I’ve had to ask the students and staff at the school to have a little bit of blind faith that it will all come good!

    Giant Template!

    So, all tiles should now be fired, and waiting for the final assembly stage. One or two more stages to go, one of  which is the frame – I can’t do much about this as I can’t weld!  But I did have to make a template for the steel fabricators and it was doing this that made me realise just how big this project is!  It took most of the kitchen floor….

    The other part I have to do is some digital art work – around 150 students submitted designs at the start of the project of which we selected 20 to convert into the plaster ‘stamps’.  But we are actually using everybody’s art in the final piece and this involves me scanning in all the 10cm designs…. one by one!  And I will be compiling them into one big montage for the back drop of the whole work.

    Watch this space!

  • General

    Legacy Wall Update

    A while ago, I posted about this project : Olympic Legacy Wall that I am doing with Kirk Hallam Community Technology and Science College.
    Last time I posted, I was about to go into school and work with the Year 10 GCSE art students to make the clay tiles which we were then taking plaster casts off which will become stamps.  Like a silly person, I didn’t take any photographs that day (I was generally up to my eyeballs in clay or plaster, so I didn’t want to get my iPhone all dirty – well any more so than usual!).
    Thankfully, hopefully there will be some images later on to show you. Just before I started the project, I met a local photographer, Deborah Selwood of Gecko Studios Photography –  anot only lovely, but also talented lady! Deborah was interested my work, and how I often use scientific imagery, but when she heard about the Legacy Wall decided she’d like to document it.  So when we were making the tiles, we were under the watchful eye of the digital camera lens… I’ve not seen the results yet!
    More recently, I’ve been working on the templates for the ceramic pieces that will form the art work itself.  Not only is this piece going to be large, it will be heavy, sited outdoors and in a public space – there are a lot of things to consider not only the design but the overall construction, which I will be getting fabricated at a local firm in Ilkeston.
    So, where is this art work going?  Here’s the wall, taking from the view of the all weather pitch. For those of you who know the area, its the Derby Road end of the new Sports Hall, the original school buildings are there in the background ( for you former ‘Comp’ students like myself, you can just see the original gym!)

    Rear View of KHCTSC Sports Hall

     It can be quite difficult to ‘explain’ how the piece is going to look, especially when its not something that I have made before. And especially when it’s this scale… and this is going to be BIG!  It will probably the biggest work that I have made so far.  Well, I am not so much making it – the Year 10’s are doing most of that!  Anyway, I did a mock up for the college to make sure they were happy with the idea.  This isn’t the exact shape, and although the background is the right sort of colour, its not the finished design – but it gives an indication of what it will look like I hope.

    Mock Up of the Olympic Legacy Wall

    To get an idea of scale, those bulkhead lamps are sited at around 8 feet up the wall…..

    More to come soon!