Railway project silvering

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The railway public art project is being installed! see the project’s own blog for a full pictorial archive.

Silvering the glass strips that are to be inserted between etched paving slabs proved a little tricky. In the end, it was the rather low temperature of my studio (10 degrees C) that was the problem. A cosy 21 degrees was needed to make the chemical reactions work. A god excuse to whack up the heating! Angel Gilding supplied the silvering kit – it came all the way from the USA!

I could seriously get into this silvering idea. Attempting to silver very thin strips with not much in the way of time or materials to spare was rather stressful but it worked out ok. Square foot coverage of several thin strips is not the same as if they were all one sheet though, so I got through a lot of chemicals! It was fun though, and now they’re being cemented in place as I type. The long thin strips are silvered on 2 sides then embedded in the ground with only 1 clear edge visible. The intention is that the light enters and bounces around giving little strips of luminosity and depth in amongst recycled glass paving etched with signage text and a poem.

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old railway line delays

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The installation of our Old Railway Line public art project has now been put back for a second time – until January! While things were pretty tight schedule-wise, and the first short delay was quite welcome, this does seem a long time to wait.

I’m now on with further research into health and safety issues to do with laying the glass strips into the ground. Our work has to be able to withstand vehicles driving over it, and the contractors need to have proof that the stuff we’re asking them to install complies with health and safety regulations and is fit for purpose. With the etched paving slabs the supplier provides that information. With strips of glass that I’ve water-jet cut and am soon to be silvering it doesn’t seem so straightforward. Hmmm… think I need to give my old tutor a ring – architectural glass artist Cate Watkinson of Watkinson Glass Associates.

Anyway, I had fun water-jet cutting the glass at the University of Sunderland’s Glass dept. (see picture)

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Old Railway Line public art project

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A public art project on the Scarborough – Whitby Old Railway Line is my most recent project. Commissioned by Scarborough Borough Council and the Friends of the Old Railway Line this is a joint project with Adrian Riley of Electric Angel Design. The finished artwork will be ground based and will act as both signage and waymarker. Visually the artwork is inpsired by period railway typography with giant lettering and subtle glass inserts within paving made from recycled glass. Poetry by John Wedgewood Clarke is being etched into the surface. We went to the site with John and talked to users of the track in order to generate words and phrases that formed the raw material from which John has written the poem. Progress can be seen on the projects own blog http://www.railwayart.com/ This images shows the scale mock-up in progress.

The project has been a complicated one particularly regarding costings and sourcing materials and services and has taken many hours of sorting! It’s been a steep learning curve but fun nevertheless. It’s also been great working with Electric Angel. It has made me realise I much prefer working with other people. Partnership working here I come!

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