Location: The Wicker Arches, Savile Street (A 6178), Sheffield.
[Update: September 2005]: The site has been redeveloped and the sculpture not returned. Plans for its future are uncertain.
Description: An abstract piece that possibly makes reference to the hilly landscape of Sheffield. The shapes used are based upon triangles, a favoured theme of Amanda King's. The industrial processes used in the manufacture of this piece have been left visible: the MIG welding has not been ground down and polished and marks from the rolling and pressing are still clearly visible. On the largest surface at the rear of the piece there are some small gouges caused when this piece of steel was dropped on the floor during the manufacture. When the steel is rolled it gains in strength and also bends. Rolling tends to realign the molecules in one direction and the effects of this can be seen by studying the steel at close-quarters.
Commission: Sheffield Development Corporation. In 1992 the Sheffield Development Corporation (SDC) held a competition to find an artist to produce a sculpture that would mark the beginning of the area of Sheffield for which they are responsible. The brief was to "celebrate the gateway to the Don Valley". The artist was chosen by competition from a shortlist of four artists: Amanda King, David Mayne, Mike Lyons and Miles Davies. The piece was officially opened on June 22nd 1993 by the Master Cutler. Sponsorship details: King had negotiated possible sponsorship with several firms before the competition interview. (This may well have had a part in her success in being chosen for this commission.).
The full list of sponsors is as follows:
Stainless steel: Avesta (Sheffield)
Fabrication: Mayflower Engineering, Sheffield
Crane : Grayston, White & Sparrow, Rotherham
Low Loader : Earl's Transport, Sheffield
Lighting & Maintenance : Charles Clark (Garage), Savile St, Sheffield. (Hartwell plc)
Technical Advice : Mick Canetti/Marcus Myers, Hallamshire Tool & Die Co., Sheffield
Concrete base : Ardern Construction Ltd. Sheffield
Site Paving : Employment Action
Comment: As the title of the piece indicates 'Made In Sheffield' is a celebration of the manufacturing processes used in the use of steel in Sheffield industries. Popular memory holds that there was a good deal of adverse correspondence in the local press when this work was unveiled. In fact very few adverse letters were published at the time, while local television reports were favourable, but subsequent editorial columns seem to have got into the habit of escalating the amount of adverse criticism the piece received. Meanwhile 'Made in Sheffield' has quietly slipped into the landscape of the area. There is not a lot of pedestrian traffic past the work and it is usually viewed from a car or bus. It has not suffered from graffiti, the only marks on it being written in the dust on the highly polished surface; one such comment appropriately read: "Up The Steelers!" (the local ice-hockey team).