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Clay Lady

The Clay Lady ProjectThe Cod Piece ProjectThe Clay Lady Project

Central scanning has been involved in various local projects in addition to national ones. Luke Perry a local heritage worker and foundry owner contacted us to provide him with a solution of creating the biggest sculpture he had done to date.

The brief was not only to design and build the monument and surrounding figures but also to design the landscape of the surrounding area including the mighty chain fence which weighs over three tons that lines the industrial walkway to the monument.

The monument was commissioned by Sandwell Council to commemorate the centenary of the 1910 Chainmakers Strike which saw over 800 women strike and become victorious for what became the first national minimum wage. The park in Cradley Heath was chosen as it was the site of Mary Macarthur’s speech to the Striking Women.

Luke was determined to create our most ambitious project, a steel cast sculpture over three metres tall, something not attempted since the Victorian age and then only rarely. This required a series of new technologies such as Central Scanning’s ZEISS fringe projection scanning system, CNC foam cutting technologies and modern casting techniques to be put into use.

Cast in nine sections and welded together, the structure weigh’s three and a half tonnes and has an anticipated lifespan of over 500 years. We were determined to create something not only elegant and beautiful but as solid and lasting as the chain made by the brave women of the 1910 Chainmakers Strike.

Surrounding the main figure is a series of steel people representing the striking workers, these act as a subtle backdrop to the main figure and give the opportunity to use local residents in the artwork who are either Chainmakers or families of Chainmakers themselves.

The scanner used was our very own ZEISS Comet structured light scanner allowing for very high resolution scanning, which is key when scaling an object up. We scanned the small scale 5 ft tall clay version of the sculpture then through a series of careful cuts and data post-processing we were able to supply the files ready for CNC cutting.

The results speak for themselves.

For more information on this story, visit www.industrialheritagestronghold.com.

The Clay Lady Project
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