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AN iconic stag’s head cast in glass in Sunderland from 24 per cent lead crystal will be seen by millions of people after being unveiled at the UK’s largest airport.
Glass makers at the National Glass Centre (NGC) were asked to cast the 50kg statue of Glenfiddich’s famous stag logo as part of a global advertising campaign launched at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 on Friday (October 29).
The stag’s head crowns an exclusive point of sale unit, manufactured specifically for William Grant & Sons, promoting the company’s famous whisky, and located in the Connoisseur Area of the World Duty Free Store.
So impressed has the company been by NGC’s work, that the centre and the project’s lead glass maker, Katya Izabel Filmus are in the process of producing two more statues for placement at international airports worldwide. It is hoped that more orders will follow.
The complex process has taken almost five months to complete, and NGC Studio Manager Chris Blade says it’s one of the most challenging the centre, which is part of the University of Sunderland, has ever undertaken.
The process of making the sculpture began at Windsor Workshops, a model makers in London, where a mould of the stag’s head was created. Manufacturing it in glass was then handed over to Chris and Katya at NGC.
The lost wax process was chosen as the most appropriate for this project; this involves making moulds out of plaster and silica, reinforced with layers of wire. The casts each weigh about 50kg. After the glass fills the mould it must be cooled very slowly in the kiln, which took about 41 days for this particular project.
The final sculpture weighs 50kg and is cast in 24 per cent lead crystal glass. The antlers were cast separately and bonded after the final piece was polished using a mixture of hot sulphuric and hydrofluoric acid.
Ian Taylor, Global Marketing Manger for Travel Retail at William Grant & Sons said: “We sought to bring the pioneering spirit of Glenfiddich alive, to challenge conventions and to capture the essence of Glenfiddich. From the outset we wanted to create a piece that was far closer to art than to retail furniture. As the project progressed it became obvious that we needed to work with the very best glass team available, and that meant Katya and the NGC in Sunderland.”