We have sign-off on the structural stuff…
When we started this project we naively assumed that the mural would somehow be simply pegged onto the walls by some unspecified but of course very cheap and simple method. It turns out – unsurprisingly in retrospect – that as each metal panel (2.5m x 2.85m) is made of mild steel and weighs 65kg, and there are 41 of them in total, they need some serious framework to hold them on. We are talking serious to the tune of about £18,000-worth – thank you all you donors! There has been much clever discussion (in which we did not participate but merely nodded wisely, if vaguely) about resin anchored studs, elasticity, momentums of resistance, steel welded gusset plates, composite sleeves, and so forth.
We visited the factory
We are becoming Vitreous Enamel bores or, as we prefer to call it, VE experts. We drove down to St Leonards, to the Links Signs factory, which is our preferred supplier. It is a family firm, run by two brothers, James and Tony Kidby. Sarah played ‘pantone matching colours’ with James, while Tony showed Karen how hard you have to swing a hammer to smash a VE panel. (The answer is very).
Then we went into the factory proper and gasped at the first sample panel that Links had created in vinyl so that we could get an idea of the size. We had only previously seen our designs on an A4 sheet, or a computer screen, so we were completely blown away to see it life size. It was so big! And so bright! Then James strode off into the distance to show us how far away the other end of the artwork would be once all the panels were ready. If you people of Chiswick don’t like this mural, we will probably have to flee the country, because it’s going to be … big … and bold!
Links will start manufacturing the framework and preparing the panels ready for screen printing the maps and transfer printing the images. They are about to do some test pieces to make sure the colours all come out right. Meanwhile, having got the infrastructure department ticked off, the project now goes to the legal departments of TfL and Hounslow. Who’d have thought there was so much fun involved in a simple little mural. Or even a complicated big mural!
Karen & Sarah
Karen Liebreich and Sarah Cruz of Abundance London