About 4 years I ago I was asked to produce a design based on “people” to go on the sides of a new footbridge in Andover, which Persimmon Homes had to provide as part of their new housing development scheme. At the time I had recently sold “Stickman” (to Darren Shan the teenage horror writer), and as the site for the bridge was flanked by trees, I proposed making a series of running “stick kids” running from one side to the other, and using the bridge as a sort of backdrop to a simple cartoon/illustration.
The job was duly forgotten for a few years and then suddenly the phone call comes, engineers are poring over details, deadlines appear to be tight and stressful and work has to start in order not to miss road closures and cranes etc etc. First off – get a load of tubes of varying diameters rolled to various radii:
All tubes have to be sorted and cut to various lengths depending on the limbs that they are representing. There are going to be 14 figures in total, 7 boys on one side and 7 girls on the other. The bridge fabricator will be welding in 3 horizontal rails across each side of the bridge; these will be my datum and I will make a jig based on the centre-lines of these 3 support rails.
Once cut to the correct lengths, each section is heated up and ‘knocked about’ to make it more stick-like:
and then all ends capped to keep the rain out. Here’s all the components of one figure:
Original sketch is used to scale up the figures, and then assembly can take place on the jig:
I’m hoping that the shorts/skirts and hands/feet will read as camouflage-like splashes of colour. The boys will be a yellowy orange, girls light green (with opposite coloured shorts/skirts).
The figures at each end will have a dog on a lead as well (powder-coated yellow):
Picture also shows all of the fixing clamps that will be used to bolt the 14 figures to the support rails.
Now the work is all stacked up awaiting finishing/powder-coating, which will (hopefully) be timed to coincide with the one week road closure and crane etc. in July.
And finally: 2 days spent by the roadside, bolting the powder-coated figures on to the bridge structure. A great work team from CTS Bridges Huddersfield (thanks Phil, Phil and Mark!) and everything fitted. Road closure’s on Friday, and the crane will lift it all up and into position.
The final figure being lifted up and over and in to position: