Day 7: While doing visual research on manhole covers I quickly learned that there is so much learn and just as much to see. One afternoon I ended up following several tangents and wound up focused on coal hole covers. I clicked link after link and was not surprised when I landed at a favorite place, Spitalfields Life. I'm a follower and get the posts via email, but had missed out on the specific posts I'm about to share as they were published before I discovered the blog. When I wrote to The Gentle Author seeking permission to share his links and use his photos he very generously agreed. "BE MY GUEST...I am your loyal servant, The Gentle Author". Don't you love him already?
His post about covers is HERE. But what prompted that, was a very cool article about commissioned Roundels - cast sculptural cover replacements by artist Keith Bowler. HERE. (Seriously, go see. Couldn't find a working link on the artist so this may be the only place you will discover his work.)
Other delicious articles that I've enjoyed by The Gentle Author: A Model Of London 1840s, The Wallpapers of Fournier Street. Stop by - always an interesting read. Thanks Gentle Author for being part of my blog series.
Some information on coal hole covers from Wikipedia HERE. (Photo below borrowed from there.) I never knew that the hatches were latched shut from the inside. See? So much to learn.
I found another guy from England who has taken many rubbings of coal covers. I tried to see about getting his book but it is no longer available as it was part of a college project from seven years ago. I found this page HERE where he includes a video (below) showing his work-in-progress. When he wrote me to say I could post this, he told me about another video he made about collecting, and he mentions manhole/coal covers. See that HERE (starts at about 7:50) Cool! Thanks Mark Simmonds. (p.s. Mark, I have a Tesco's bag from 1984!)
In the next few days we are going to look at even more wonderful covers, from here and abroad, because I want to make the point of how diverse these things are - from the simple to the ornate - even though it's likely you don't need to be convinced as the images we've seen are proof enough. Yes? Then I'm going to introduce some artists and their connections to street hardware. I will also have a few surprises. If you've jumped on the bandwagon, or were already an enthusiast, and you want to share your photos, send them over and I'll be happy to include you this month. My new friend Bobbi, who will be featured soon, says I should run this series every year. I'm thinking that would be great. Or as Bobbi would say, grate.
See you tomorrow.