Benjamin James Ryan

Product: Silver Ship
Materials: Stainless Steel, Brass, Nickle Plate, Nano Ceramic
Dimensions: 1700mm x 1700mm x 2000mm (Approx.)

The sculptures were part of the 5.35million pound redevelopment of Shakespeare’s family home 1597 -1616, on Chapel Street in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The public garden where the sculptures are located was designed to commemorate the importance of the site and allows visitors to make their own personal connection with Shakespeare.

The Silver Ship is a sculptural expression of the wonder inherent in, and produced by, many of Shakespeare’s works.  As the ship from The Tempest, magically suspended at the moment of discovery, it carries forth the magical realism that brings the captivatingly fantastical into the everyday throughout the famed bard’s oeuvre.

The sculptures produced by Ryan and Todd of Ursae Ltd. utilize a myriad of craft skills, techniques and new technologies to help bring the art pieces to fruition. The designs incorporate the use of a number of computer aided design programs, and cutting edge manufacturing process including; 3D rapid prototyping, CNC 5-axis laser cutting, CNC machine turning and milling, and 3-axis Water-Jet Cutting. The ship’s manufacture also saw many traditional hand fabrication techniques as well as state of the art centrifugal vacuum casting and larger scale gravity casting processes.

The Silver Ship was designed to create a literal and engaging piece of sculpture that could be easily understood and admired be persons of all ages. The ship is suspend almost magically from fine wires supported by a bronze cradle, and is an accurate scale model, based on Elizabethan ship plans the circa 1600. The glimmering galleon harks back to the mystifying unscathed ship from the Tempest play, which was conceived and written by Shakespeare where the sculpture is located.

‘The opportunity to mirror and pay homage to Shakespeare and his works is an endeavour we are honoured to be a part of. As craftsmen, artists, and designers, we use all of the skills and technology at our disposal to create works which marry carefully considered aesthetics with function, be that function purely practical, conceptual, or emotionally evocative. Using beautiful craftsmanship to express underlying truths, narrative and meaning, is just as important to us in our metalsmithing and sculpture as it is to a wordsmith. Hopefully the art piece will not only give an insight to Shakespeare and his life in an educational capacity, but also help inspire future generations, by igniting the imaginations and creativity of the millions of people, both young and old that come to see it, in an innovative, enjoyable and engaging way.’