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.
If there’s an award for bad blogger of the year, I think I would certainly be in the running!There’s been so much going off. In March, Gavin and myself did some workshops in schools – this produced some fantastic work, including glass, metal embossing and casting – hopefully I can show you some of the work at a later point. Who cares about chronological order?I managed to get a few more sessions in at university doing photograms, and I was very sad when this came to an end – I feel like I’ve still got so much more to explore, but I need access to the darkrooms to be able to develop (hahaha) this further. Do you think they’d notice if I just wandered in…. we’ve got the AA2A exhibition soon, I have to be ready by the end of next week.We held the spring Open Studios at Shed 2 as part of Derbyshire Open Arts. I managed to squeeze in a visit to Chelsea 100th Flower Show to help Rachel Carter – unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of chance to look round as it rained. And rained again. And rained some more. You get the idea.However, I was very excited last week that we were able to install the first Metal Ages sculpture at the King George Gallery. That’s the Royal “we” – as in Gavin and his builder dug holes, heaved the thing around, and poured in post-crete, whilst I stood on the side-lines saying left a bit, right a bit and taking photographs.I think it looks amazing. I love the combination of new glass and old metal. I love what Gavin has done with the found objects from the Stanton site, combined with donated tools from our walks and meets we did way back in February and March.Anyway, here it is – the second sculpture should be installed fairly soon, more on that later!An overview – slightly over exposed, but had to show you the beautiful settings:
The beautiful King George Gallery building My glass element Found metal objects from Stanton Ironworks Donated tools from former workers The glass set into the Stanton Arrow “OLD MEN & PIPES”
That’s it – all done and dusted, sculptures delivered and installed awaiting the opening this coming weekend of Sculpture in the Sanctuary at SouthwellThank you for following my (erratic) progress. It has been a steep, steep learning curve. Given the chance, or a bit more time, I would do a few things slightly differently – but isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?I would want the whole finished piece ready earlier, so that last minute problems could be ironed out. Luckily, there really wasn’t much to worry about, the metal frame went together well and all the glass fitted in. I managed NOT to drop anything and break it, that’s always a bonus.I love the wooden stand, but as a practical piece of work in a show, I would perhaps think about ways of fixing the panels. With the five panel standing structure, I would probably go for six, and make it a touch taller. I like the idea of echoing the pattern in the glass into carving into the metal base.Not a lot I can do now – and I have lots to build on. I still love both pieces, I think they work really well, and I was fortunate to catch a bit of sunshine this afternoon between the rain clouds, which really shows the panels off to great effect. Actually, when the sun came out, those glass houses got a liltle bit TOO warm…Anyway, I managed to get a few pictures before we wilted away…