At first sight, the Comedy Carpet looks as if the text is painted. In fact, each of the 160,000 letters is made of 30mm solid granite cast into high-quality concrete panels. Given the unusualness of the project, its complexity and scale, no one company was able to produce the work in its entirety so Gordon had the challenge of producing the work in-house.
With the assistance of artists/makers Russ Coleman and Andy Sawyer, Gordon turned a former fish processing factory in Hull into a bespoke studio, and recruited and managed a production team to make it. After several months of research, with input from chemists and engineers, the Comedy Carpet team evolved new techniques and recipes for production including a special white face mix and the perfect blue that wouldn’t fade. They searched far and wide to find materials of the exact quality and consistency; from India, they sourced black and red granite; from China, stainless steel.
Although constructed on an industrial scale and making use of new technology, the work also required craft skills of a very high standard. The process of making each of the 320 slabs involved many complex stages from cutting, sorting, fettling and laying out each of the letters to a three-stage casting process, curing, trimming, grinding and polishing.
Each slab is a work of art in itself; multiplied by 320, it takes the project to an altogether different level.