We paid another trip to Links Signs in St Leonards, in theory to watch the first artworks being laid over the map panels.

First we admired some of the map panels, which are truly magnificent.

Then we watched one of the screens for screen printing being created. Each colour on the maps requires its own screen. First it was coated in special light-sensitive goo and exposed to a bright light. Then the goo is hosed off. This then goes off to the screen printing table to be smeared in paint and laid on the metal panels.

Throughout the day Peter Evans filmed everything, so we can immortalise this process. [add 14.40.14]. Peter is not only filming and editing everything for free, but he is one of our sponsors. That’s what we call true community involvement!

But here endeth the good news. We then went to look at the artwork transfers. These have been extensively colour tested by us and Links over the past months, with TfL generously picking up the extra tab – we have fired, inspected, tweaked, re-fired, inspected…. Finally everyone was happy, Sir Peter Blake gave his approval. And now… we seem to have been sent a completely different kind of transfer, and the results are frankly disastrous.

Links have carried out some test firings, and then glumly surveyed a crackled bubbly surface, so far removed from the smooth skating rink they were expecting. Meanwhile the vibrant colours we achieved in the earlier firings have disappeared, and we are left with murky brown. “Looks like everything is smeared in goose shit,” said Sarah with a catch in her voice. So we are once again back to the drawing board. With time running out!

Pavement closure is booked for week commencing 8th January, with launch party 28th January.

Artwork and maps