Meet Mike Quarry, one of Amalgam’s engineers working on all sorts of projects. He’s been…
With Gromit Unleashed 2 launching all over Bristol, we can finally start to tell the story of our involvement in a bit more detail. There has been a lot of fun and hard work building the sculptures for this summer’s art trail for The Grand Appeal. We were thrilled to announce our involvement last year and since then, the team has stretched their combined creative muscles to prepare the sculptures in time. It’s been a pleasure working with the artists and the organisers, and now it’s nearly time to reveal our own design – InCognito.
The characters of Wallace and Gromit, and their arch-enemy Feathers McGraw are familiar for fans of the films and if you live in Bristol, you’ll see them in over 60 locations around the city over the summer. But we want you to take a peek behind the making of the sculptures. Did you know that?:
1) It took approximately 400 hours to create the three master sculptures for Gromit Unleashed 2.
We had to make sure the details were perfect, because fans (Not to mention certain parties at Aardman) will spot it if anything is not right!
We scanned, photographed and scaled-up Aardman original macquettes for each character as a starting point for the master sculptures. It takes many hours to scan, photograph, re-draw and work with projections to build the super-sized versions. Everyone wanted the characters to retain their iconic look, so we ensured we had regular input from Aardman to approve the details of each sculpture before creating the moulds.
2) Once the large scale models were sculpted and approved, we switched to manufacturing techniques for the versions that were to end up being artworked and modified for the actual trail.
We build so many different things here at Amalgam, our talents and machinery lend themselves well to one-off creative pieces. Still, we know a fair bit about manufacturing because we help other companies test and prototype physical products. But when it came to producing over sixty of these huge sculptures, we literally ran out of space in the workshop! Our friends over at Abrichem took over to create moulds of each sculpture and then produce durable GRP replicas for the artists to customise.
3) Weather-proofing is a tough job and takes specialist paint.
Despite being in the middle of some glorious sunny weather right now, we have to advise on the best paints and materials to withstand all weather conditions. Rain, heat, direct sunlight and of course, with Gromit Unleashed 2 running from 2nd July until September, there’ll be some wear and tear. Our in-house scenic artist, Elaine has done a fabulous job painting InCognito, you will be able to see him for yourselves in The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.
4) Many of Bristol’s creative people have come together to bring Gromit Unleashed 2 to life.
We’d like to say thank you to all of the artists who have been into our workshop to chat through their ideas; because we’ve worked on over 34 characters who needed props, costumes or hats to supplement the sculptures. It’s our job to build the fibreglass parts and ensure they are fitted securely onto the sculptures. You can watch our video of “The Making Of” below.
5) Time for a lovely cuppa, please Gromit?
The final secret to the success of the creative work – is a thank you to our senior project manager, Paul Galloway. He certainly deserves a pat on the back and a well-earned cuppa because he’s masterminded our involvement in Gromit Unleashed 2 throughout, and all while running a range of projects for other client’s in parallel.
We take complex creative projects and make them simple, no matter where in the world you are based – not only Bristol.
Give us a call on 0117 924 9596 to talk through yours.