Scotts Grotto Commisssion

Seat for Scotts Grotto, Ware

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.