Inspiration and the pose
First, inspired by Elizabeth’s story and by all the comments and views expressed by the public and by local children about Elizabeth, Hazel wrote a briefing document to outline the thinking behind the statue and what characteristics of Elizabeth we might want to bring out.
Hazel then tried out a few poses herself to let Elizabeth’s Group choose the one that seemed to evoke these characteristics. We picked the pose that we thought best fitted Elizabeth’s character and work.
Next, Hazel worked with her model, Rosie, who is a similar build to Elizabeth, and tried out the pose with clothes similar to Elizabeth’s.
As you can see, we felt that Elizabeth would not be standing about idly or posing in any way, she would be active, probably addressing some politician in an animated way about what she thought of his latest proposals!
You can see her heel coming out at the back of her skirt as she leans in, and her arms are raised, her face lifted in conversation; remember that Elizabeth, at 4’9″, was a lot smaller than the men she lobbied!
Next, Hazel created a maquette using a material called ‘clayette’ that does not fully harden, allowing you to tweak the position slightly as required.
DOESN’T SHE LOOK AMAZING?!
Elizabeth’s Group was thrilled with it! We felt that Hazel had already captured Elizabeth’s dynamism and determination.
This was very hot work and a challenge as the material stayed quite sticky in the summer weather! Please note that this does not show the final detail of the clothes, hands, or face or other details at this stage, it is just to show a scale model of what the statue and pose will look like.
Here you can see the process of making the maquette:
Next, using the maquette as a guide, Hazel created a metal armature of the statue. Rosie, the model, came to the studio several times to pose and help Hazel shape the armature. Working the metal is very tough and tiring work so Hazel was very happy to get it finished!
The Clay Elizabeth
Next, Hazel began to add clay to the armature to create a statue that will be used to make the mould into which the bronze is poured.
Here you can see the completed clay Elizabeth:
From the clay, Liz Turner made the initial mould by painting rubber-like resin onto the statue. Several layers are used and then peeled off to create the initial mould.
The Wax Elizabeth
At the foundry, the resin mould is painted internally with wax to create a statue of Elizabeth that is finalised and used to make the heat-resistant mould for the bronze.
Pouring the Bronze
Elizabeth’s statue was poured in bronze at the foundry – Bronze Age London. here you can see the statue components being poured.
The Finishing Touches!
Hazel Reeves worked with the wonderful metalworkers at Bronze Age London to finish the bronze, as well as with Derek Bayley, who is patinated (coloured) and waxed the statue to create the final, polished look.
The team from Artful Logistics brought the statue to Congleton and installed it under Hazel’s direction. First of all they lowered Elizabeth to the ground and drew around her to ensure the correct positioning.
Next they lifted her up again, drilled holes and fitted the steel rods that will fix Elizabeth in the concrete beneath the paving.
Finally they lowered the statue back down and slotted the rods into the new holes, fixing them there with a special resin. Elizabeth is now immovable!
Sculptor Hazel Reeves would like to thank the following for their work in creating and installing the statue:
Sandra Reeves, Mark Longworth, Derek Bayley, Rosie Talbot, Bronze Age London, Artful Logistics, Willis Bros., Marji Talbot, Prices & Myers.