Olympic unveiling at Forgemasters
13 June 2013
Inspirational Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams took a rare break from training to unveil a striking new piece of artwork that has become the gateway to Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL).
Nicola, the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, officially revealed the 14ft statue and met with the 21 SFIL apprentices who have poured many months of effort into the project.
The boxing star cut the ribbon, which was placed between the Scorpion’s giant clasping claws, and congratulated the apprentices on their efforts.
The three and a half tonne Scorpion was the brainchild of SFIL chief executive Graham Honeyman.
Graham said: “After months of overcoming challenges and hard work from our apprentices it was only fitting that one of our gutsiest and highest achieving Olympic stars unveiled The Scorpion.
“We were very honoured to have Nicola visit our site along with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, the Master Cutler and other dignitaries.”
The dynamic sculpture measures four metres high, two metres wide, six metres long and features clasping claws, an armoured body and a piercing arching tail. Scrap material found on the 64-acre site has been recycled and used to build the figure which now guards gate number two on Brightside Lane.
Rick Franckeiss, group training officer at SFIL, said: “It was a fitting and memorable ceremony and the iconic sculpture will stand as a lasting testament to a great Sheffield company that is blessed with some exceptional young talent.”
The apprentices worked with International sculptor Robin Widowson from Gotham-D and associate artist Sara Bevan who supported and advised them in the construction of the sculpture.
Apprentice Charlie Laycock, 20, from Steel Propeller Ltd, a Forgemasters subsidary said: “I feel very privileged to be a part of this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to build what will become a piece of history. I’ll be able to look back on it in years to come and say, I helped make that.”
Harry Pearce-Hurst, 20, Foundry apprentice welder, added: “The project was a great way to meet new people within Forgemasters and the artwork will be a great feature for years to come and symbolises the company’s commitment to apprenticeships.”