Saltworkers in Droitwich Spa

Brine has been an important part of Droitwich Spa for a long time, supplying medicinal bathing and salt production. It’s even said that St Richard visited in 1250 AD to bless a brine pit that was failing (see the plaque on his statue in Vines Park). So it’s not surprising that the town has a wonderful sculpture called the Saltworkers, by artist John McKenna, depicting a family hard at work creating salt-lumps from brine. You can visit it in Victoria Square in the town centre, but in case you can’t here’s a basic 3D scan I made of it while looking around all of the historic attractions. You can see the scan on Sketchfab below (click the play button to load the model and view it in 3D).

The Saltworkers sculpture on Sketchfab.

Quick summary of this 3D creation
Overview: A basic photogrammetry scan of the Saltworkers sculpture.
Location: Victoria Square, Droitwich Spa, England [map].
Date/era: Modern, 1998 AD.
Software used: Spectre3D Android app, Meshmixer.
Intended use: Computer graphics, not really suitable for 3D printing.
Download: Sketchfab page.

According to the October 1998 plaque beneath the sculpture ‘This sculpture illustrates a family of salt workers producing salt. The father is drawing the salt from a brine boiling trough and scooping it into a wooden tub used for draining the brine to form a salt lump‘. About the erection it also states ‘The Droitwich Spa Town Council gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of Wychavon District Council and the skill of the sculptor, Mr. John McKenna, A.R.B.S. in producing this heritage sculpture and the considerable technical help received from Severn Trent Water Ltd. Capital Controls Ltd. and Midlands Electricity plc‘.

The scan was made using the excellent Spectre3D Android app which took approximately 30 seconds of video as I moved around the sculpture. It then uploaded the video to its’ server and a while later I had a fairly good representation as a 3D model file. I then loaded it into Meshmixer to rotate and scale it, as well as to use the ‘plane cut’ operator to remove unwanted surrounding mesh areas. Below is an image showing the underlying mesh: it is quite sparse but does a good job of providing a shape for the texture image. Also, there’s a little loss of quality at the top of the heads, but that was just because I didn’t have a selfie-stick and so couldn’t get the camera up that high.

The underlying 3D mesh of the Saltworkers sculpture.
The underlying 3D mesh.

I hope you enjoy this 3D scan of the Saltworkers, so even if you can’t visit beautiful Droitwich Spa you can still enjoy their lovely art. And maybe you can even use it as part of a digital diorama of the area if you visit 🙂