Iron sculpture takes shape at Ironbridge Gorge thanks to massed effort of 75 blacksmiths

By Culture24 Reporter | 22 August 2012
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a photo of blacksmith working at a forge
© Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
A new sculpture marking the achievements of Abraham Darby is taking shape at Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire after 75 members of the British Artist Blacksmiths Association (BABA) descended on Blists Hill Victorian Town to begin work on it.

Led by a three-man team consisting of Olly Boyett, Matt Snape and David Frazier, who were each invited to produce a design for the sculpture, there was fierce competition at the forges during the weekend of August 10 -12. Boyett’s concept ultimately won the day.  

Taking inspiration from the history of metalworking within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, his design is said to represent foundry boxes, which will be filled with a variety of forged sculptural decorated compositions. The final sculpture will incorporate ideas from all three blacksmiths.   

More than 75 blacksmiths worked in small teams on more than 800kg of iron to forge components for individual sections of the finished sculpture.

The finished piece is scheduled to be finished and revealed to the public at Enginuity, the Museum’s Design and Technology Centre, by the end of 2012.

More pictures:

a photo of three blacksmiths working a forge
© Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
a photo of a man holding a sculpted piece of hot steel
© Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
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