Photofab has supplied 2,000 stainless steel stars for a permanent art installation at the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The piece, entitled, ‘For all Time’ is the creation of Brighton-based artist and designer, Steven Follen.

Steven has worked with Photofab on projects in the past. He approached the chemical etching specialists to produce the stars, knowing the company would meet the high quality standards and excellent customer service required for this specialist project.

Chemical etching is a means of fabricating metal components that uses an acidic solution to dissolve unwanted metal. Unlike many other forms of metal cutting, such as water jetting or stamping, chemical etching leaves burr-free edges.

Following discussions and advice, upon receiving a CAD file from Steven, Photofab’s in-house graphics team initiated a proof to start the process, followed by the production of a single sheet of stars to be used as prototypes. Once tested and approved, the remaining stars were chemically etched from 180 sheets of stainless steel, measuring 508mm x 305 mm. Before dispatch, the stars were checked electronically to ensure they conformed to dimensional specifications and were visually inspected by hand for any surface defects.

The 2,000 stars have been transformed into a 3-dimensional installation making the shape of a 3-metre-tall human head, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene II, where Juliet speaks of her star-crossed lover Romeo; ’When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine’.

Neil Shorten, Managing Director of Photofab commented; “Working on this project has been an immense privilege. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure the strict deadlines were met to help Steven complete his creation in time for the opening of the Swan Wing. We often feel the way in which we etch metal is a work of art in itself, so we’re thrilled to truly be a part of this real life art installation.”

For all time is now on public display in the newly-restored Grade II listed Swan Wing, the oldest part of the RSC’s theatres in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The Swan Wing’s public spaces will also house a major new visitor attraction, The play’s the thing, due to open later this year, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in May 1616.

Photography by kind permission of Andrew Fox.

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If you can draw it, we can make it in thin sheet metal.

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