An Artist in the Factory

For the past month, we’ve had an artist in the factory. Nicola Ellis has joined the Ritherdon crew, working alongside staff in the factory creating something very different from our usual manufacturing production of stainless steel enclosures: cabinets, feeder pillars, meter boxes and electrical kiosks.

Nicola has filled the factory  with different experiences while creating her artwork in the factory. She has allowed everyone to experiment with the materials and processes that are normally seen as part of the job at hand and are part of our normal manufacturing output. Hard working Nicola has filled the factory with her creative energy.

Artist in the factory Paint Hooks

She’s been inspired by Ritherdon’s history, taking inspiration from founder Percy Ritherdon and his fascination with chemistry and his  friendship with magician Chung Ling Soo. Founder Percy and Ritherdon, collaborated in the design and manufacture of the tricks that helped make Chung Ling Soo an incredible magician of this time.

Conversations with staff, the lean manufacturing principles in place, the manufacturing process and the production line will all be featured in the final artwork including unique powder coated paintings. We can’t wait to see how all the elements will come together.


Artist in the Factory Powder Coated Paintings


Ritherdon has been able to experience an artist residency as part of Art In Manufacturing Season 2, a commision by Arts Council England and it’s participation in the NationalFestival of Making.

Art in Manufacturing Season 2:

What happens when you cross six of the UK’s most adventurous artists with the heritage, innovation, and factory production capabilities of major Lancashire-based manufacturers?

Unpredictable and inspiring artworks, from sculpture to performance, are set to emerge from each artist residency and find a home in the town centre of Blackburn, Lancashire during the National Festival of Making weekend, Sat 12 – Sun 13 May 2018.

We hope you can MAKE IT and join us in Blackburn town center to experience all the final artwork produced from these 6 artist residencies and all the incredible activities that have been put together for the National Festival of Making.

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