It was back at the end of summer that Jonny Noble from Bradford BID came to us at the Sand In Your Eye studio in Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire with the idea of doing a sculpture trail around Bradford to celebrate their Sparkling Bradford campaign. There have been sculpture trails around cities such as the bees in Manchester, snails in Brighton, owls in Bath and even Wallace & Gromit in Bristol. They are a great way of getting locals and visitors to explore your town or city and visit landmarks and buildings well known or even those hidden gems.
We had the idea to make pop up Christmas cards for the sculptures, each would be inspired by a popular Christmas song and would feature Bradford landmarks and fit in with the Sparkling Bradford campaign with lots of Christmas sparkle.
Because the construction and installation of the cards fell around the same time as Halloween when we are busy with pumpkin carving and the beginning of ice sculpture season, this took a lot of planning and hard work! James Wilding, who has helped us out many many times over the years with carved pumpkins, ice carving, and sand drawings agreed to project manage. We brought in a large team of freelancers to make the sculptures and put them together. Luckily we know a lot of talented artists and sculptors and can call on them when we need a bigger team. This time round we had Tom, Mark, Tess, Laura and Govi to help bring the project to fruition. Even Liz and Ronnie, who do our sales and accounts had to leave the office and pick up a paintbrush! It’s really great when our studio near Hebden Bridge is busy and full of people making and creating.
The sculpture studio is pretty big but with six giant Christmas cards it was absolutely jam packed but we got used to finding our way around the maze to reach each card.
Eventually we made it to the installation day on the 1st of November with the cards all built, painted and beautifully sparkling. Jamie, Rich, James, Tom, Mark spent the day travelling around Bradford delivering and installing the sculptures.
Each card has a letter on its base; by following the trail and finding all the letters they can decipher a secret Christmas word and send it in to win a fabulous prize! Participants can also take a selfie with each card and upload it to social media with the hashtags #SparklingBradford and #SparklingBradfordSelfie. They look really great in their new homes and we hope everybody in Bradford has a fun, sparkling Christmas! Eagle eyed explorers can have the added fun of trying to spot the links that each card has to Bradford, and the song that inspired the card.
We love spending time in Bradford, and thanks to Bradford BID and Jonny Noble we have had plenty of opportunity to this year – we also made an ice sleigh for their Christmas lights event and at Halloween we created a fun Bradford City FC inspired pumpkin scene, Jamie carved a giant pumpkin and we ran pumpkin carving workshops.
We hope to return in 2020 for more sculpture fun!