Artist blacksmith Katie Ventress has called on the services of Hull-based Humber Galvanizing Ltd to protect and add aesthetic flair to her latest project – a bird feeder standing at approx. 2.4m tall.
The artwork was commissioned by a customer of Katie’s and depicts a tree with each branch host to a bird feeder. She uses the galvanizing process frequently in her works to enhance her gothic-inspired style whilst also protecting them from the elements.
Long-tailed tits are scattered within the branches, and a squirrel can be seen climbing the trunk of the tree. Once the final design was agreed and the piece fabricated, Katie sent it to the Humber Galvanizing team to be hot-dipped in its large molten zinc bath, a process which coats the metal and protects it from corrosion and rust. After it was galvanized, Katie added a cluster of solid, forged brass acorns to complete the design, with extra colour subsequently added using gilding wax.
Katie said: “Galvanizing is one of my favourite parts of the process, as unlike paint, it doesn’t cover the finer details and instead creates a nice organic colouring. I have also applied an acid etch on top of that to further enhance the textures, create contrast, and emphasise shadows.”
Influenced and inspired by nature’s movement, form and texture, Katie’s handmade pieces are an appreciative visual nod to her countryside upbringing and love of nature. After training as a blacksmith, she used her passion and knowledge of art and creativity to turn her talent into a career.
She added: “It is reassuring to know that galvanizing the tree will help it withstand the constant pitter patter of little bird feet when they come to enjoy the feeder, and that it will last much longer than an average equivalent from the local garden centre.”
Tony Linsley, Sales Manager at Humber Galvanizing, added: “It’s always a great pleasure to work with Katie when she brings us her latest bespoke work. We feel privileged that we play a part in the creation and preservation of these immense pieces of art.”
Humber Galvanizing is part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years. With 14 plants strategically placed across the country, the firm offers a truly national galvanizing service.