Thursday, July 18, 2013

Llanelli town centre glass canopy

Rather overdue sharing this news with you, but I'm really excited to bring you these wonderful photos by Dan Staveley of my largest commission to date. This canopy in Llanelli town centre was unveiled last month, as part of its multi-million pound regeneration programme. The canopy structure had been designed as part of the town centre facelift, and I was commissioned to create the glass. 

Drawing inspiration from the incredible industrial heritage of Llanelli, I decided to explore using industrial materials to laminate in glass, rather than my usual dyed silks, cottons and linens. Carbon fibre threads alongside copper and steel meshes were chosen, and they had the added benefit of being colour stable for this outdoor usage. I undertook a lot of research into the tinplate manufacturing process - Llanelli was once the worlds largest producer of tinplate, and so there were a huge number of people once employed in this industry. And it wasn't just men working on the hard production lines either as I had assumed, and so for this commission I wanted to honour the memory of all the women working in the tinplate industry. As the shape of the canopy reminded me greatly of quilting patterns, there was a pleasing juxtaposition between the more expected feminine pastime of quilting and the work women were doing in the tinplate factories.

And so each pane of glass was treated as if an individual pattern piece in a quilt. The gradating blues were achieved with an adhesive vinyl. The copper and steel meshes were folded in reference to the significant 'doubling' process in the tinplate manufacture. This creates a fantastic moire effect so the work has an extra dynamism as you shift your angle of gaze. There are also wonderful shadows cast on sunny days.

As always, I am hugely grateful to the brilliant Innovative Glass Products for helping me realise this commission. To say that this was a challenging job would be an understatement, but they made sure that my vision became a reality.

The canopy structure was made by Broxap who were an absolute pleasure to work with throughout.

The seating underneath the canopy was also a special commission, undertaken by Dallas Pierce Quintero.

And the public art manager was Emma Price, and the build contractors were Alun Griffiths.

Enjoy the pictures...................