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Forging for human rights

It was entitled “Sea Creatures”, a sculpture that combines craftmanship and humanitarian commitment.

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

Many colleagues accepted the Schönberg-based designer’s invitation. For three days, steel was made red-hot, hammered, pulled, turned or simply forged with immense force. Fish, clams, jellyfish, crabs and even a seahorse were created under the forgers' own initiative. Together with three-metre-high water plants, forged in advance, a unique steel sculpture was created, which lovingly emulates the interaction of the underwater world. The Schönberg-based artists chose hot-dip galvanizing to give the delicate Sea Creatures lasting protection from corrosion. 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 become damaged 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 fully galvanized.

Heiko Voss was extremely satisfied. 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 at Laboe on the Bay of Kiel in Germany.

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