Eight Bridges Cycleway, Stockton to Middlesbrough.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council commissioned the Scottish artist blacksmiths at Ratho Byres Forge to design and create a series of sculptural markers for the Eight Bridges Cycleway, River Tees Corridor.  The ten sculptural markers will link Stockton town centre with The Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough.
Stockton has a rich industrial past, from railways and shipbuilding to ironworks, steel manufacture and chemical production.  This industry has all but gone and it was this heavy industrial heritage that we wanted to celebrate in the design of the signs along with the desire to forge very large sections of steel.
Each sculptural sign started off as a large billet of steel, 200mm square and 1200mm long. This was forged to a long taper under our 5cwt hammer. Three blacksmiths, with the help of the overhead crane, were required to handle the largest of the billets, lifting it from the furnace to the power hammer to be forged down.  Each billet took around four hours to forge to the desired taper, with many heats and rests in between!  The completed Sculptural markers are due to be fitted along the cycleway in the near future.
Billets ready to forgeCraig forging taper under 5cwt power hammerlargest Sculptural MarkerTeamwork, Craig and Mark forging billet under 5cwt hammerSculptural Markers. Drawing by Jois Hunter