Over the last few weeks I have been busily working up some new designs for a viewing area to be created at East Brackley on the Loch Leven Heritage Trail. Since it’s opening in 2008 the trail has only been 3/4 complete, the final section, from Vane Farm around to Kinross Mill is now being developed to complete the circuit of the Loch
Designed by Edinburgh based Architects, Icosis, the new viewing point Pavilion is placed at the highest point along the trail and offers up stunning views across the wetland areas on the South side of the Loch out over towards Bishophill. My brief was to look at developing ideas for some ‘furniture’ for the area which would incorporate some interpretation. Through the design process this has now simplified down to 2 carved stone benches & a carved sphere decorated with migrating birds that flock to the area. Follow this project on it’s own dedicated page here.. East Brackley Benches
During the first phase of constructing the path I was involved in creating various artworks along the route, I’m looking forward to the challenge of again contributing to this project.
After the creation of much dust and rubble the 5 carvings for the new Orchard Bank entrance feature are all complete and good progress is now being made installing them onsite, follow this projects development on the dedicated page Panmuirfield.
With the imminent arrival of 5 stone blocks I can now contemplate the exciting prospect of undertaking my next project. Designed to form an entrance way feature into Orchard Bank Housing Development in the Panmuirfield area of Dundee, the scheme offers me the chance to continue my recent series of stone carvings.
2 walls are to be build using locally sourced stone on either side of the main driveway, there will be 3 carvings on one wall with the remaining carvings going on the other. These will be some of the biggest carvings I have tackled – to date! Opportunities like this don’t come along every day, so the prospect of the next 5-6 weeks carving is something I am relishing.
As my work on the Forfar Botanists Garden draws to an end my focus shifts towards the next project. Commissioned by the Elsick Development Company to commemorate the Founding of Chapelton New Town, (ten miles South of Aberdeen), this Cairn Seat will sit within what will become a central civic space for the Town. Constructed using a mix of reclaimed materials sourced from the existing Estate this landmark will symbolically mark the beginning of the process, a period of transformation and change that is aimed at creating a new vibrant and sustainable community.
It seemed a distant prospect when I signed up for it but the months have whizzed past and here I am right in the middle of my first ever Perthshire Open Studio Event. Project commitments have meant that I am not as prepared as I had wanted to be. There have been a few long weekends sawing, ,hammering, filling & painting to get my ‘Shed’ beyond the rough & ready workspace it usually is, to the point where it is ready to show my work and accept any prospective visitors.
The newly painted white walls has transformed the untidy & chaotic space into a reasonable personal gallery where I have the opportunity to display past projects and more recent new work offering an insight into my artistic practice. Visitor numbers have not been very high but those who have come to view the work have been incredibly generous with their praise. With a couple of potential leads the event has been a worthwhile undertaking so far, I look forward to welcoming many more in the next few days.
Having spent the last two weeks creating the carved elements for the South Wall for the Forfar Botanists Garden, this week has been taken up with installing them into their final positions.
Correctly spacing them meant that I have had to be very careful in watching my levels as the wall grows in height, the main fear I had was that if I didn’t control the spaces between the elements by the time I started creating the alcoves for the sculptures they would looked ‘pinched’ within the height of the wall. Now that it is complete I think I pulled it off – phew!!
Week Beginning May 27th 2013 – My fourth week on site at Forfar Botanists Garden sees me begin work on the features that will be built into the south wall. With 5 name plaques to carve and two sculptures to form I have my work ‘cut’ out for me this week. After a trip to Tradstocks last week to select the stones the first day saw me do the rough work on the basic blocks. With an aim that the finished pieces contrast with a mix of colour & texture I chose a lump of pink Scottish whin & a piece of portugese grey granite, after the rough cutting, above it is difficult to tell which is which. Further details...read.
My simple but very effective toolkit for walling work.
Progress is being made towards realising my proposals for the new Community Park in Tranent.
Under the project title of A Place Of No Importance? I have been preparing ideas that will have public participation as a major part of the final scheme.
Sharing personal stories & making a ‘Miners Tally’ is the way I intend engaging the public through the project. This is quite a complex commission with many different parts of the jigsaw requiring to be put in place prior to its going live. One of the first steps has seen me making a couple of prototype Tallies that will be sent off to Archibald Youngs Foundry in Kirkintilloch to be cast in bronze.
Made with air drying clay I have formed two sizes to assess which will be most suitable. I got two sample aluminium numbers made which I have used to stamp into the clay, I love the the imperfections of the prototypes the way the surface has a life of it’s own and the way the numbers have picked up the buffed-in colour. Each one will be different and show signs of their being handmade, unique to the individual who made them. I have painted the prototypes to show to the clients how the finished tallies will look.
Read the background to this exciting project at – ‘A Place Of No Importance?’
Recovering from a broken leg is not the ideal physical condition to be in at anytime, continuing with it whilst constructing a series of drystone walls some may say is just downright foolhardy! Nevertheless this is the position I find myself in as work continues on the Forfar Botanists Garden.
I am now two weeks into the project, two weeks that have proved to be tougher on my body than normal. Limping about on site has been exhausting, having rested up for the last 6 weeks it is almost as if my feet have forgotten how heavy I am! However I have found as long as I don’t push too hard and keep topping myself up with my happy pills I still appear to be making steady progress.
Working closely with the clients some exciting additions to the scheme have been agreed and further details of this project as it develops can be found on the Forfar Botanists Garden Blog page.