A local galvanizing firm has supported a Highlands metal sculptor to soar to new heights with his latest project.
Ewan Lawrie, a metalworker and sculptor from Fort William, was commissioned by Nevis Range Ski Centre to create a bespoke sculpture of an eagle to stand proudly outside of its newly-constructed hotel, which is due to open later this year. He enlisted local businesses, MacPherson Welding & Engineering Services Ltd, and Scottish Galvanizers Ltd, to support the project.
Ewan said, “I’ve always been a keen artist, and with joinery experience by trade, I recently began working on commissions. Having used timber previously – which looked brilliant to begin with but weathered easily – I now work exclusively with steel to enhance longevity. I’ve worked with Scottish Galvanizers on a previous project, so was keen to enlist their help yet again to ensure my latest piece would be protected for up to 70 years.
“I was approached by Nevis Range Ski Centre to create a bespoke sculpture for its new hotel, based in Fort William. They gave me complete freedom with the design, so I knew I needed something strong, powerful and eye-catching to fit within the spectacular surroundings. After much deliberation, I eventually decided on an Eagle, with a wingspan of 4.5m.
“Due to the planned location of the bird, exposed to the harsh highland weather conditions including frequent snow and ice, I knew that a hot dip galvanized finish would provide the most suitable protection. Plus, I knew it would give it a shiny and magnificent finish when it was illuminated at night.”
‘The Eagle’ was constructed using 5mm mild steel plates, and Ewan cold-worked the metal to create the complex, flowing shapes of the bird. The sculpture took four months to complete, and in total used 500kg of steel. Now, it sits proudly on a six-tonne boulder at the Nevis Range – just below the highest point in the UK.
Paul Tait, Commercial Manager at Scottish Galvanizers, added: “It was a great pleasure to work with Ewan and the MacPherson’s team again. We love to receive new and exciting projects – and we’re always so intrigued about where these fantastic pieces end up. Thanks to the galvanizing process, we hope that this eagle sculpture will be enjoyed by many visitors to Lochaber for generations to come.”
Scottish Galvanizers 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.