Friday 24 January 2020

George's sculpture Scotland bound

Artist George Hay with his sculpture of an oversized set of bagpipes
Artist George Hay with his sculpture of an oversized set of bagpipes

Maria Pepper

Talented Carne-based sculptor and artist George Hay, known as the Shapesmith, has just completed a five-month commission to build a sculpture of an oversized set of bagpipes for an iconic building in Edinburgh.

The piece was shipped to Scotland in a large crate last Friday and will be installed in the prominent Scotsman building, formerly the home of the Scotsman newspaper, now a hotel, on North Bridge in the city this week, with the artist in attendance.

George's family hails from Scotland where he attended high school and Art College. A mostly self-taught maker, he is experienced in carpentry, woodturning, welding, blacksmithing, metal etching and mosaic.

George has spent the past 20 years designing and manufacturing bespoke coffee tables, interior furniture installations and artistic items such as steel sculptures, objets d'art, totem poles, large murals and mosaics.

Over time, the physical size of his projects has grown from four-metre mosaic walls to two-metre tall totem poles and now the oversized bagpipes, similar to Irish War pipes, measuring two metres by 1.5 metres.

He made the sculpture on his own in his workshop in Churchtown, Carne, a converted shed located across the road from the original blacksmith of Carne that people still talk about. 'Local neighbours and friends have been awesome in their support, putting up with the noise and the odd hours', said George's wife Michelle. Before the bagpipes sculpture left Wexford, George opened his workshop to local visitors for a 'show and tell' presentation. 'It was very gratifying for George. He has received lovely support', she said.

George also works on television and movie props and has produced items for a large number of international TV series and feature film productions including Mad Max Road Fury, 10,000BC, Troy and Sky Atlantic's 'Britannia'. He worked on the stage production of Celtic Woman's new music video at Johnstown Castle last September. He has a special interest in using plastic pollution found on shorelines to make functional and artistic objects. Removing the plastic that arrives with the tides reduces the human impact and helps prevents further degradation, and George has set his sights on related projects in the future.

Wexford People

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