You can drive down any main arterial road in Sheffield and find yourself pressed up against one of Sheffield’s most iconic landmarks – The Sheffield Forgemasters. It fills the Sheffield landscape with its imposing industrial charm.
Its sprawling site is a nod to a manufacturing mecca that boasts affiliations to English Steel, Firth Brown, River Don Castings, and British Steel. It began life as a small blacksmith’s forge set up by a humble mill owner in the 1750s, a long way from the plant it is today. The vision of Edward Vickers pounding metals at his forge is starkly juxtaposed against a new vision, a forge that now produces the largest and most technically challenging cast and steel components in the world. One wonders at the type of process, the blood, sweat and tears that went into the transformation of a place such as this one…The manufacturing era is on the move yet again. The next decade will see another gargantuan shift, a new type of process, blood, sweat and tears of the people at the helm of this place as they seek to upscale and change and adapt and, of course, (lets hope), continue as the flagship of the landscape it inhabits.
This was sketched on a crossing just beneath the site on Attercliffe Common Road. I painted in the sky much later – an apocalyptic pink. I’ve opened a new corporate sketchbook of some of the sites I’m interested in across the Yorkshire and Humber region.
I like the idea of apocalyptic skys of different colours, perhaps reflective of the economic environment and days of reckoning we are heading into.