Forging for human rights

It was entitled “Sea Creatures”, the sculpture that combines handcraft and humanitarian commitment.

The Schönberg-based metal designer, Heiko Voss, commits himself and enjoys it. Once again, he invited colleagues and friends to his smiths’ meeting in Kiel in order to design together for human rights. Under the motto “Sea Creatures" a collective work was to be created and sold to benefit the human rights organisation, Target, Rüdiger Nehberg. This aid organisation has been combatting the genital mutilation of girls in Northern Africa for many years.

Many colleagues accepted the Schönberg-based designer’s invitation. For three days, steel was made red-hot, hammered, pulled, turn or simply forged with immense force. Fish, clams, jellyfish, crabs and even a seahorse were created under the forgers' own initiative. Together with the three-metre-high water plants that were forged by Heiko Voss in advance, a unique steel sculpture was created, which lovingly emulates the interaction of the underwater world.

In order to protect the filigree Sea Creatures from corrosion over the long term, the Schönberg-based artist chose hot-dip galvanizing. The team at ZINKPOWER Schönberg were faced with a challenge due to the different material thicknesses of the elements and the resulting different welding seams. Jellyfish made of 1-mm-thick sheet metal “swim” next to plaice, seahorses and a mermaid made of 25-mm-thick sheets of metal. How annoying would it have been if the sculpture had torn during galvanizing? In consultation with Markus Schulz, Plant Manager at ZINKPOWER Schönberg, a solution was developed. Heiko Voss and his colleagues mounted an auxiliary frame in which the sculpture was suspended, so that it could be kept stable and entirely galvanized.

Heiko Voss was extremely satisfied. Already prior to completion of the sculpture, a buyer was found who not only donated to a good cause, but also made the sculpture accessible to the public. The Sea Creatures can be found on the beach promenade of Laboe on the Bay of Kiel in Germany.


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