Stroud Blog Update 6

Having cut my metal strips to size I needed to drill holes in order to fix them together. This task was not easy as the metal appears to be sprung steel. Apparently exposing it to a very high temperature i.e. a blow torch would help to change its composition and make it easier to drill.

Using a blow torch to heat the metal strips.

Using a blow torch to heat the metal strips.

It worked, but I have to admit to being a bit scared and tentative with the flame to begin with and initially the process was very slow.  Gradually I got braver and more efficient, learning how much heat to apply to make drilling easier.

These are a few experiments using the metal strips as a base for the cogs. The ones that work best for me are where I have used materials that  contrast most with the metal. For example, top centre, the thread is web-like and looks lacy. Bottom, the frayed, fabric strips have been woven around the metal creating a soft cushion. I don’t like the brown colour of the metal showing and did start to burn it off with the blow torch but this took too long. On reflection I am now  considering methods of concealing it instead.

I have had a  productive week and made some real progress regarding decision making.

The work had begun to look  dull and I knew as soon as I saw it all together that something needed  changing.


After removing the cogs with burnt brown edges and the metal cog with burnt wrapped fabric I threw  two circles of tennis ball cloth into the mix. It instantly lifted whole group of sculptures.  I love the combination of the acid yellow and the neutral greys, it brings life, energy and establishes a contemporary feel to the work. So far I have made two yellow cog sculptures and will make careful decisions about the final quantity as I think accents of colour will work best.


I am also reconsidering my idea for the final installation of the work because we have less time to hang than we thought. Having reflected on and discussed ideas at a creative review yesterday I think the sculptures will be wall hung rather than suspended. This will definitely be less problematic and may create a better result in the long run.

Making and painting the soft cog sculptures is a slow process. I like to use simple hand stitching wherever possible because I find it meditative and feel it conveys a natural authenticity to the work. Each ‘cog’ is individually designed and painted by using a paper pattern as a mask.




  1. Hello Lucy, I am finding your work extremely interesting & would love the opportunity to talk to you about it.
    I am an MA student on the Multi – Disiplinary Printmaking course at UWE and my current project is based on Cam Mills. I was a weaver there for over ten years & my artwork revolves around themes I have an emotional connect to.
    Look forward to your reply.
    Cath Ingram.

    1. Hi Cath, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you are finding my blog interesting, I’m really enjoying the project. I would be very happy to talk to you about the work. We will be be having a meet the artist session at our exhibition opening on Sat31st May at 11am which will be at The Pink Cabbage Gallery in Stroud. If that’s no good my email is look forward to hearing from you.

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