Stainless Steel in the News

Stainless steel is prized by many industries, usually for its purely practical qualities such as strength, ductility and resistance to corrosion. It is thus often forgotten that stainless steel has a unique aesthetic beauty that makes it ideal as an artistic medium.

In this edition of the BS Stainless blog, we look at three recent news stories involving artworks made using stainless steel.

Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow

The components of a new sculpture entitled 'Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow' have arrived in Inverclyde's Coronation Park in Scotland. Several stainless steel figures, which are a massive 33 feet in height, will be assembled over the coming weeks and the final sculpture will pay homage to the long shipbuilding heritage of the area. Designed by talented sculptor John McKenna, the sculpture is set to become a popular tourist attraction for the town.

Good Home Sought for Swansea's 'Leaf Boat'

For more than 20 years, a glass and stainless steel sculpture inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas has held pride of place in Swansea's Castle Square. Conceived by artist Amber Hiscott, the 'Leaf Boat' is set to be removed as the area is redeveloped.

The sculpture stands at the centre of a large fountain which will be replaced with a 'water-jet and mini-fountains' as part of the redevelopment scheme. Composed from steel and planks of glass stained silver, the impressively-sized boat rests atop a base of stainless steel which was forged by hand in Cumbria. Stainless steel was chosen for the underwater base as its corrosion resistance is so reliable.

Amber said that it was important to her that the sculpture finds a good home when it is moved. "It's important to give it a sense of being loved, which is true of everything," she added.

Rolls-Royce 'Spirit of Ecstasy' Redesigned

The 'Spirit of Ecstasy' is the mascot that has featured prominently on Rolls-Royce vehicles for 111 years. She has been given a modern makeover designed with a lower stance and less billowy robes, giving her a more aerodynamic shape ahead of the scheduled 2023 launch of Spectre, the first electric car from the luxury brand.

From 1911 until 1914, the mascot was silver-plated but this resulted in many of them being stolen. Designers switched to chrome or nickel to thwart thieves. Since 2003, the 'Spirit of Ecstasy' has been made from highly-polished stainless steel and this material will also be used for the most recent update.

These three stories are testament to the unmatched versatility of stainless steel. BS Stainless has been directly involved in the production of art made from the material, supplying stainless steel wire to several artists including Robin Wight and Candice Bees. Candice was commissioned by BS Stainless to create a life-size wolf from stainless steel wire, which has since become the official BS Stainless mascot and has accompanied us to several trade fairs!

You can find out more about Candice Bees and Robin Wight in a past blog article on our website. If you are an artist working with stainless steel, we'd love to hear from you so please get in touch!

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