Applying Ancient Technology
The technology that was used to cast the twenty two gargoyles and angels has been around in Ireland since the Late Bronze Age: the lost wax process in combination with clay moulds. Appropriately, they were cast only two miles away from Mount Gabriel where some of the oldest copper mines of North-West Europe are located. But it is not only the archaeological aspect which interests Holger. Using local materials, sustainably produced charcoal and recycled bronze makes the process itself carbon neutral, offering sculptors an environmentally sustainable, inexpensive and low-tech approach to producing permanent artwork.
Owing to the high durability factor of bronze and its long lifetime, these sculptures for Armagh contain very low embodied energy. 100% recycled bronze has been used in producing the work together with moulds that were made from abundant locally sourced materials. An average of 80% of all waste materials were recycled and re-used again in the process. This kept the total embodied energy input in the actual production process as low as 6,500MJ. Spread over 22 sculptures, this is an average 295MJ of embodied energy (EE) per item. The project produced a total of 800kg of CO2 emissions, the majority of which accounted for road transport and LPG fuel.