Frances Plowden METALWORK


The pieces on this page reflect the diversity of projects and commissions I have been involved in.

As well as the examples shown here, I spent 7 years working as welder and prop designer for a European circus group, as well as being responsible for the set design and build for Channel 4's 'Scrap Heap Challenge'.

These experiences feed into the creative design process for my furniture, chandeliers and railings.

I have recently been going over to the migrant camps in Calais and Dunkirk to use my metalwork skills to help out with building a large-scale communal kitchen from steel shipping containers, under the direction of the 'Refugee Community Kitchen'.




A three metre high wrought iron bird cage from forged and rolled steel.

cage by frances plowden

The cage was created in response to stories from refugees and asylum seekers I have been working with. A woman lies in the cage, asleep, imprisoned, dead?

I started by constructing the the dome, then the vertical sections. The forge work was done over a week, and bolted onto the cage structure. The cage comes apart into 3 sections for transportation.


The cage has appeared in various shows including:



Barracuda Bar

A mobile bar built on a trailer. Fully equipped, fish-shaped bar.

barracuda by frances plowden 

The bar comes apart into three pieces to be easily towed to the event and can be put together in half an hour. Barracuda can be used indoors or out, at weddings, parties and music festivals, to provide all around service from the stylish formica and aluminium bar surface. A framework was built onto the trailer, clad in powder coated sheet steel and riveted together, before being fitted with lighting, fridges, shelving and storage, as well as the optic frames in the central area, to be accessed from all sides allowing all round service.


barracuda bar

Bar set up and ready to serve


interior barracuda bar

Close up of interior area



Paralympic closing ceremony floats

Working with the Mutoid Waste Company under the artistic direction of Joe Rush and Alex Wreckage, we created the large mutated floats that filled the Olympic stadium in the Paralympic closing ceremony in September 2012.


2012 paralympics with work by frances plowden paralympic floats with work by frances plowden paralympic float wioth work by frances plowden

Floats at the 2012 Paralympic Ceremony

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