Sheffield Celebrates A Love of Contemporary Metal

Sheffield Celebrates A Love of Contemporary Metal

24 April 2013

 Sheffield, the city built on cutting edge metal craft and innovation, will see the fifth outing of the Galvanize Festival of Contemporary Metal roll out next month. The festival, which runs from 3 – 31 May at various venues in the city, aims to spark new interest in contemporary metal design and give visitors to Sheffield an insight into the city’s vibrant metalwork industry.

 Galvanize Sheffield is a perfect opportunity to see and purchase metalwork, meet contemporary designers and learn about the making process as well as hear about the latest innovations. The festival for 2013 features over 50 designers based in the region and beyond and hosts a unique programme produced by Ruskin Mill Trust, Sheffield Assay Office, Yorkshire Artspace, Museums Sheffield, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust along with input from manufacturers and independent makers. The festival, based on previous successes, is expected to attract visitors from within the region and beyond.

 Mir Jansen, Chair of the Galvanize Sheffield Steering Group, said:

“The festival gives us the opportunity to showcase the wealth of talent and fantastic innovations in the city. Metal is as important to us as Shakespeare is to Stratford and we want to share our metal heritage, cultural excellence and ongoing creativity with the rest of the UK and beyond”.

 We are delighted that Arts Council England are supporting the festival with a Grant for the Arts Award of £39,000.  Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director of Arts Council England in Yorkshire said:

“Culture is at the heart of great cities and Galvanize Sheffield symbolises Sheffield’s distinctive characteristics: amazing talent, globally renowned reputation and an independent energy for creativity and metal production”.

 As the city region is celebrating 100 Years of Stainless Steel, the festival this year has a real focus on the material that was discovered here in 1913 by local entrepreneur, Harry Brearley. The Master Cutler, Neil MacDonald, is supporting the festival:

“We are delighted to work with Galvanize in this very special year. Sheffield is where Harry Brearley’s world renowned innovation began, a breakthrough that would revolutionize the world and put our city on the global map. We are still pioneering innovations and our city has much to be proud of”.

 This year we are looking forward to showcasing even more talented makers than before, like Drew Markou (image attached) designer of jewellery and metal objects, who will show his contemporary designs at the MADE North Gallery at Yorkshire Artspace as part of the Future in the Making exhibition.  Drew will also be present at our Pop Up Jewellery Day, a selling event that will take place at Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works on Saturday 18th May, where he will show a documentary about his attempt to produce a record number of 100 pieces of contemporary jewellery in just one day.

 Other exhibitions will take place at Butcher Works Gallery where we will show Aesthetics of Manufacture. This exhibition brings together examples of highly engineered, quality industrial production and the original one-off hand crafted object and looks at what connections can be made between these apparently diverse working groups of metalsmiths.

 At Sheffield Hallam University’s SIA Gallery we exhibit STAIN-LESS showcasing jewellery and body adornments in a variety of materials using old and new technologies. Local, national and international jewellery designers are represented in this exhibition curated by the Association for Contemporary Jewellery.     

 As in previous years, the festival will be offering a range of popular activities including studio and factory tours, and workshops for the public to make jewellery, spoons and bowls, using traditional metalworking techniques. Full details at:




For more information contact:

Surriya Falconer/Emily Rockett - MK

T: 0114 275 6784

M: 07770 415262

Sara Unwin:



Galvanize Sheffield Festival of Contemporary Metal is a partnership passionate about promoting contemporary metal design and innovation.

The programme has received financial support from Arts Council England, The J Graves Trust, Sheffield Hallam University/Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, The 100 Club (linked to 100 years Stainless Steel Celebration), Ruskin Mill Trust and Sheffield City Council.

 Yorkshire Artspace is one of the largest and most established studio providers in the UK, currently offering affordable workspace to over 100 artists and craftspeople in 4 buildings in Sheffield, including Persistence Works Studios - a purpose built and award winning studio complex designed by Feilden, Clegg, Bradley architects.

Yorkshire Artspace aims to be a centre of excellence for the support of artists and makers by providing good quality affordable studio space, tailored professional development programmes and raising the profile of artists and their practices locally, nationally and internationally. \ 0114 2130111 \ 07985 919872

Butcher Works Gallery at the Academy of Makers exhibits contemporary metalwork from local and international artists. Profiling the work of the Makers at the Academy and the students of Freeman College, the Gallery has a changing exhibition programme.  The Gallery is located in the heart of the cultural industries quarter and offers great opportunities for new and established metalwork and other artists and makers.

For more information about the Aesthetics of Manufacture exhibition please contact Carole Baugh on 0114 252 5972 or email her at 

Opening times:  Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm. Admission free.


The Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery is a professional, distinctive setting for high quality temporary exhibitions. It supports the Institute's research and teaching through showcasing the very best in creative practice.  They offer a programme of changing exhibitions, ranging from historic graphic design to contemporary fine art.

 They host projects originating within the University, bring exciting touring exhibitions to Sheffield, and offer individuals and organisations the chance to develop their own proposals in collaboration.

Admission is free.

Opening times:   During exhibitions, the gallery is open 10am–5pm Monday–Sunday, and until 8pm on Wednesdays.

 About 100 Years of Stainless Steel (100 YSS)

2013 marks 100 years since Stainless Steel was discovered by Harry Brearley, a breakthrough which would revolutionize the modern world and put Sheffield on the global map.

As a result, Sheffield is to host a year long celebratory events programme to ensure that this historic landmark is commemorated in style and reaffirm the legacy of innovation which still exists in the city today.

A city wide arts and heritage partnership has been brought together to deliver the 100 Years of Stainless Steel (100 YSS) event programme, including key organisations - Marketing Sheffield, The Company of Cutlers, Museum Sheffield, Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, both Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield and The Freshgate Trust.

Funding for the 100 YSS event programme has come from The 100 Club; a unique initiative that provides businesses with benefits along with being part of this significant civic celebration.