• The foghorn

    • (0) Comments by julian 29 June 2011

    Photographs of the foghorn being tested in Ian Moran’s workshop in Cradley Heath.

    The two smallest parts of the horn only are shown – it will be three times as long as this, and 9 feet high at the opening.  The sound of the recorded voices played through a 4″ speaker is clear, warm, and potentially very, very loud.

  • Wall of iron

    • 2 Comments by julian 5 June 2011

    George Davis, iron puddler

    John Richards, spring maker

    John Price, nailmaker

    Harry Carter, glass grinder

    Thomas Parkes, polisher

    Ann Grigg, smoother

    Thomas Holden, labourer

    The names seem to go on for ever.  To celebrate this archaeology of people and work and what they made, we will be making a Wall of Iron.  23rd and 24th July, at the Manor House, West Bromwich.  We are aiming to put up a thousand pieces of iron, each one labelled with the name of a person who worked in West Bromwich over a hundred years ago.  We need those pieces of iron that you find in your garden, your allotment, your walks with the dog.  Bring them to the Archives room at Smethwick Library, Wednesbury Art Gallery, or The Public.  (No bicycles or supermarket trolleys please – in fact nothing bigger than your hand).  Come and help put the work up that weekend.

    Here is an idea of what it will look like:

    Think big.  In fact, think very big.


  • Glass

    • (0) Comments by julian 5 June 2011

    Following a tip-off from someone who recorded some archive material which will be later heard through the foghorn, I went to Black lake to investigate a glass dump.  Some of the pieces were remarkably beautiful, heavy and showing lines of flow, with sharp edges, but as one of our glass-holders here said, ‘they are so beautiful to hold, so tactile’.  Heavy too.

    There was a really touching moment at this weekend’s workshop, when these two ladies found the names of their ancestors in the Chance Brothers wage lists from 1st December 1842.  Listen out for them reading the information over the foghorn.