The completed seat in place in its niche at Scotts Grotto.
Made from Broughton Moor slate and brushed stainless steel, these are extremely hard wearing materials that will last many years outside.
This commission came about when I was approached by the trustees of Scotts Grotto. The grotto is the last remaining remenant of the garden that formed the grounds of the Scott's large house and the family were renowned locally for their acts of charity and good deeds.
John Scott was a Quaker-poet and his most famous poem 'The Drum', a protest against the wars that were so prevelant in the eighteenth century, became the inspiration for the commission. The trustees wanted a seat made to go in the grounds of the grotto and they indentified an empty niche where the seat could stand.
The restictive size of the niche, along with the words of the poem, led me to design the seat in the shape of a military side drum. The spiral layout of the words worked well with the meaning of the words and echoed the shape of the seat.
Unusually for me, I adapted the lettering from the eighteenth century type-face Baskerville, as this was widely used in stone inscriptions at the time the poem was published. Once the lettering was carved, it was painted to make the inscription stand out more.
Broughton Moor slate from Cumbria was chosen for the top and bottom of the seat as it is both very attractive and hard wearing. The bench support was made from stainless steel by the blacksmith Alan Freeman, who also works at Parndon Mill.
Work in progress
The photos immediately below show the seat in it various stages of completion, from the lettering drawn out on the slate to the completed seat in place in its niche at Scott's Grotto.
Parndon Mill Lane,
07701 027 042
My next letter carving courses will take place over the weekend of 23rd-24th March and 22nd-23rd June 2024. There are a maximum of 4 places available. Cost is £220 with stone and carving equipment supplied. Please see my courses page for more details.
From 9th-12th May 2024 I will be demonstrating and selling my work at Living Crafts at Hatfield Park. This year, I will be part of the Parndon Mill marquee, demonstrating along with other Parndon Mill artists.
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