Welcome to Pirate Technics!

Who we are

Pirate Technics are a UK group, comprising individuals from all arts disciplines from theatre to engineering. We design and build temporary art installations for festivals, galleries, events and merchandising.

What we do

We create large scale sculptures to be part of unique spectacles for events of all sizes involving collaboration with firework designers and performance artists.

Since 2007 we have built figureheads to capture the essence of a festival identity or theme. Our projects are exclusive, temporary and interactive... and they are all spectacular!

Shipshape Arts

Pirate Technics is a brand of Shipshape Arts, an artistic creation company based in Nottingham.


15 Dec 2014

Kestrel Makes a Home in Topiary Figures!

Not only have our topiary figures found a new home at Farmeco Community Care Farm, but it looks like a kestrel has decided to make a home out of the figures!

All four figures are now back together at the farm, and they have attracted so much attention that the farmer wishes to keep them indefinitely, which is fantastic. The farm is near Bingham, Nottinghamshire and they are visible from the road.

Thanks to Simon at Quercus for the info about the kestrel.

04 Dec 2014

LittleBigPlanet Handcrafted Christmas Tree Promo Video

This is the official LittleBigPlanet 3 Handcrafted Christmas Tree Promotional video by PlayStation.

You can just see us setting up if you pause it and squint really hard! Filmed in real-time of course!

Also, check out how the "Twitterverse" is responding to #LittleBigChristmas https://twitter.com/hashtag/LittleBigChristmas?src=hash

04 Dec 2014

Handcrafted Fabric Christmas Tree at Old Spitalfields Market

Yes, Christmas is imminent and to celebrate the release of the PlayStation game LittleBigPlanet 3, Shipshape Arts were commissioned to build a giant fabric Christmas tree in Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch, London.

There were lots of celebrities milling around. We managed to get this shot of one of our favourites, Charlie Brooker!

Originally intended to only be up for one weekend as part of the promotion, Spitalfields loved it so much that they have decided to keep it there for the entire festive season! So, it will be up for all of December and if your Christmas shopping takes you in that direction, make sure you take a peek!

A special thanks goes out to Pirate Piers' mum, Ann, who hand knitted us a bespoke Sackboy to sit on top of our fabric Christmas tree. What a clever lady!

For more information visit the Old Spitalfields Market website http://www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com/events/playstation-worlds-largest-handcrafted-christmas-tree.

UPDATE: There has been lots of press around the tree, so just put those keywords into google like "playstation christmas tree spitalfields" and all the articles come up about it, including a bit from the Daily Mail.

30 Oct 2014

Burn, Burn, Burn!

Next stop Hollywood for the Pirates! Yes, that's right, our fabulous talents have finally been realised by the film industry. This is our straw effigy sculpture, nicknamed no-head-mike by the film crew.

It has been constructed for a British indie film with the working title Burn, Burn, Burn. A very appropriate title we thought to cut our teeth in the biz. And yes, it will burn in the film! Look out for it in 2015.

Here are some pictures of us setting up:

And here are a few pictures of the sculpture during filming:

4 minutes to burn, that's how long the Pirates have a sculpture on fire for on the silver screen so far! I suppose we have to hope that it sparks off (intentional pun) a trend of more films with fire sculptures...

26 Sep 2014

Topiary Figures on the Move!

Our two iconic artificial topiary installations named "The Sweepers" and "The Neighbours", which have also featured at the Southbank Centre, have come to the end of their stay at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and are looking for a new home.

20 Aug 2014

Green Man Festival 2014

Yay to a dry and bright Green Man Festival 2014 in the Brecon Beacons in Wales! Pirate Technics again built the centre-piece Green Man Sculpture.

This year he wore a tribal mask, giving him a more spiritual appearance. He held in his hand an oroborus - a snake eating his own tail and the symbol of infinity.

At night he was illuminated dramatically, giving him a haunting look from across the field.

Constructed using locally sourced materials and foraged greenery people could walk through him and tie butterfly-shaped wishes inside.

He was again burnt on the Sunday with a great firework display from Two Tigers Fireworks as the last act of the festival. His mask stood out dramatically as he brought to a close one of the best UK festivals.

Here is a video of the whole finale show.

And here's a time-lapse of the build.

01 Aug 2014

Emerald City at Secret Garden Party 2014

The Pirates were back once again for another year in The Garden. This time we built a massive recreation of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz in an art-deco style to co-inside with this year's theme of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", complete with DJ booth and dance floor.

The huge emerald shards, some standing 12m in height, were illuminated at night to provide a memorizing light display.

Taking a slight deviation from the tradition of the Big Burn happening on the Saturday, Pirate Technics instead closed the festival on the Sunday by burning the vast stage we built over 3 weeks to an array of dazzling stunt planes making heart-shaped trails in the sky.

The sun shone on everyone all weekend and it was a fitting close to what can only be described as a vintage year in the garden.

Check out this video if you would like to see the whole process from construction to burn!


02 Jul 2014

Giant GM Maize Grow at Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury was as usual a belting festival but exhausting as the mud started to rear its head by the end of the weekend.

We had two sculptures on show - our pagodas in the backstage of the boutique area called The Park and another in the entrance to The Stone Circle of some giant maize stalks, with illuminated kernels at night.

Here is a time-lapse video of the maize stalk build. Thanks again Piers!

27 May 2014

Festival Season Begins in 2014 with Bearded Theory!

Yes, it's festival season again! We can't believe it's come around quite so quickly. 

Even while Pirate Mike was busy getting married, we still managed to get the Parrot Pagodas to their first festival of the year, Bearded Theory at the beautiful new location of Catton Hall.

Congratulations Mike and Diana!

15 Apr 2014

Life of The Topiary Scultpures

Here's a time-lapse of the life of the topiary sculptures so-far. This video starts with the build and also features the two moves they have had to-date. Thanks Piers for your time putting it together.


For archived news, visit the Shipshape Arts Blog.

Pirate Technice sculptures during the day Pirate Technics sculpture during the night