Where did the idea come from?
Sculptor Steve Mehdi had the vision to build The Steel Man many years ago. Steve worked as a steelworker in Sheffield and wanted to create a memory piece for the men and women of the steel industry. He envisioned a piece of art that would give back to the community and the city, and become an icon for the region.
The Steel Man project has now developed into plans for a landmark artwork and visitor centre that will act as a beacon for the Yorkshire region and a catalyst for change. The 32-metre high future landmark will sit above the M1 in Sheffield looking out over an area steeped in industrial history and now at the forefront of a new era of advanced manufacturing technologies.
A Steel Man team member originally suggested he could have a steel heart, with the names of thousands of supporters engraved on it. Steve designed a heart sculpture that was faithful to the Steel Man’s strong curved panels, using the classic heart shape that would be easily recognised.
Due to very high levels of heart and circulatory diseases in the area and due to local relationships with the charity, the Heart of Steel Appeal was linked with the British Heart Foundation, who began receiving a proportion of all donations given to engrave a name on the Heart.
How was the Heart made?
The Heart of Steel is now built, thanks to the fantastic collaboration of three Sheffield companies; Maher Ltd, Doncasters Bramah, and Pryor Marking Technology.
The Heart is made from Inconel, a super alloy normally seen in high performance engine parts used in the aerospace industry and Formula One. An amazing team of designers, production programmers and skilled fabricators have crafted this special material to build the Heart of Steel. It won’t erode or corrode, and it will keep the Heart alive well into the next millennium.
Where can I see the Heart?
In the short term, the Heart will be installed in Meadowhall shopping centre, along with a scaled version of the Steel Man. The long-term goal is for the huge steel Heart to be placed inside the Steel Man overlooking Sheffield. If for some unforeseen reason the Steel Man is not built, the Heart will remain in Meadowhall, or will be placed outside one of the British Heart Foundation’s Centres of Research Excellence.
How your donations help
Your donations made to engrave a name will come directly to the British Heart Foundation and help fund vital research into the world’s biggest killers. Conditions like stroke, heart diseases, vascular dementia and diabetes. By supporting the Heart of Steel, you can help beat the heartbreak they cause, and keep families together.