Description: an international collaborative sculptural project celebrating friendship.   

This project, inspired and organised by the British Artist Blacksmith Association (BABA), brought blacksmiths together from around the globe. A competition was held to find Master Blacksmiths to design a sculpture, representing his or her interpretation of the theme of friendship, to fill apertures within the Pillar of Friendship, an armature designed by Alan Dawson. Fifteen master’s designs were selected with each Master leading a team of smiths to forge the sculptures at a gathering of 300 smiths at Blists Hill, Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire.  

Bethan’s winning piece was titled ‘Circle of Friends’ which she describes as:

This circle of friends welcomes you by holding out an open hand (one each side of the aperture) – the hand of friendship, for you to come and take hold of, and in doing so join in and share the joy that friendship offers. No two circles are the same. We often reaffirm our friendship with our hands, both in gestures and reference. Our hands are an emblem of what holds circles of friends together.

In making the piece Bethan’s team included: Russel Claridge, Georges Codina, Graham Grasse, Charles Kendal, Brian Russell, Ivan Russell and Axel Steward.

Service: Design Concept

Location: Coalbrookdale, Shropshire


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