As ever, my life has been hectic with things related to my business, the studio and of course home life – I knew I hadn’t written a blog post for a while; well Christmas was the last one I remembered. What I hadn’t realised was that I never posted anything about the second Metal Ages sculpture, and that was well, AGES ago!
Back at the end of September, we finally got the opportunity to install the final sculpture at Erewash Museum in Ilkeston. I say ‘we’ – that would be me with the camera and occasionally passing a drill or screwdriver, and Gavin & Mark doing the lifting, carrying, digging, drilling….
This one is a rather large sculpture. It’s over two metres high, and about two and a half metres wide. It is made up of 7,000 nuts, which represents the size of the workforce when Stanton Ironworks was in it’s heyday. It has four ‘vines’ growing from the ground, which represent the four main foundries that could be found in the Ilkeston area back in the 1900’s. Across the middle is a shank, used for pouring molten metal in a foundry. The centre of this holds a glass disk, which like the ‘Old Men & Pipes‘ sculpture at King George Gallery is inspired by the ‘fire in the sky’ that was ever present when Stanton was a busy place, and also representing new beginnings.
For the last six weeks, I’ve been working in various primary schools in the local area.
We’ve been making ‘fossil walls’ – a process that I happened upon almost accidentally that gave some rather surprising and lovely results – modern day (or any) objects, cast, and because of the sand used in the process, I thought they looked like fossils.
Each school chose their own designs and ideas. Some of the schools I went into chose to do individual blocks, where the children brought in items that were important or significant to them; others wanted to leave a ‘legacy’ for other children coming up through the years with their words of wisdom (quite interesting choices from 10 year olds!). We also have done some plaques on based on areas of the curriculum, as well as designs based on school logos and mottos.
In all schools, the children actually got very involved with the making – from deciding what went into each design, to piling sand into containers and finding objects to insert. There’s some of the more technical and Health and Safety stuff I’ve had to do myself of course, but I’ve tried to let the children participate as much as possible – this is their work. Oh, and in most schools, I’ve had some lovely able helpers at the end of each day to tidy up.
It’s been great fun, if hard work; the children have been a delight with their wit, intelligence, creative thinking, helpfulness and politeness.
Here’s a couple of examples below. I am looking forward to them all being dried out enough to seal and getting them installed to decorate all the school spaces (even if that’s more work for me!)
Curriculum and classroom names Einstein said… Inspired by the school logo What subject? Words of Wisdom from Year 6
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
Not long now, metal framework in progress, over the next few days I’ll be putting the whole thing together and getting it installed… Me, nervous?