Update - Sheffield's 'Steel City Cascade' Installation Completed
In February, we reported on the visit of artist Lucy Coyne to the BS Stainless Ltd factory. As devisor of a project celebrating the centenary of stainless steel, Lucy was reaching out to local industries to gather materials for the unique collaboration between Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Children's Festival and local young people. BS Stainless had been contacted through the BSSA with a view to help, following the visit several different types of products were donated including stainless steel strip and stainless steel wire.
The exciting project takes the form of a huge, freeform sculpture made up of many individual parts: the Steel City Cascade. Hundreds of young people took part in the project and were involved at every level from design to final installation, offering them valuable practical experience in a range of subjects.
In the early stages of the project, a team of young people began design preparations for the base of the sculpture. It was decided to model this on the form of the river network that runs into and through the city; these waterways were an essential feature of the establishment and development of metalwork in Sheffield. Further to these designs, young people used computer programs to draw images of local people and of many of the stainless steel industry's most important buildings in Sheffield, images which were later laser-cut into stainless steel sheet to form the completed basis of the design.
Once design plans were completed, the team grew much larger. Hundreds of young people took part in a series of practical workshops that explored the qualities of stainless steel, offering hands-on experience and inspiring the imagination. Using a range of tools, the young people then created hundreds of small individual components that would form the cascade.
Several themes feature in the cascade of individual pieces. One group of young people focused on the diversity of Sheffield's population, using an assortment of stainless steel wire and stainless steel strip to create a series of twelve striking portraits. Cutlery was another important part of Sheffield's history and so the many beautiful patterns found on the handles of knives and forks were recreated using stainless steel wire.
The sculpture is now fully complete and is on display in Sheffield's Winter Garden until mid-September 2013. If you look carefully you can see lettering that is blue in colour, these letters were cut from stainless steel blue banding supplied by BS Stainless.
We are proud to be part of such an important celebration and would like to congratulate Lucy, her team of young people and all of the other industries and organisations that helped to make this exciting project possible.