Underhill underway!

Components of the 1st section of Underhill project begin to take shape. These are 2 of the shuttered box cast concrete setting blocks and the gate post, swing unit & latch.

See earlier postings for the design drawings of Underhill. This projects shares visual comparisons & structure ideas with the Dragon's Tale project & also an earlier seating installation - Sky Poles for the Royal Horticultural Society at Hyde Hall, Essex.

And here are a couple of images of completed Harlequin Nimms & Nimm Kei SJ.

Art concrete!

Opening the moulds of the base settings for the latest sculptural work. The smooth cast 750 mm dia disc will be flush set at grass level on site whilst the 550 H x 350 sq base setting block will be positioned centrally on the disc setting. This gives a strong & grounded visual base to the sculptural work whilst at the same time creating an easy maintenance/grass cutting solution.

Installation of complete work will take place some time toward the end of next week.

(see also 2.5m i drop! sculptures & installation - posted earlier in this blog)

You can see the hollow cast structure of the setting block - we used strong cardboard boxes, you can see the really sumped distortion of the cardboard in the concrete, more about this in the future. You can also make out the only brief glimpse of the sunshine of the day illuminating the hollow.  The residue of the white grease release agent is still visible on the castings.

Also hear is an image of the current pond pump seating project - inserting the stainless steel fillet joints.

Lets play with earth - Sculpture installation day

Am: 2.5m i drop! id8smlarty.jpg Pm: Vane vane-3sml.jpg It was good & sunny - always helpful when installing new sculptural works outside. Morning we put in a 2.5m oak i drop! This particular incarnation was mounted onto a smooth cast black concrete disc, set flush with the grass level. Below this is the mass concrete setting block - remeber the lo fi aliens? Well they were very useful! In the images you can see Murray preparing the site. The solid 1 1/4"dia solid stainless steel rod is visble through the black mountaing washer. Due to the nature of heavy mass lumps of concrete you can see that the mounting disc really is just a washer with the sligly oversize hole allowing ease of set up & positioning. Once the mass block is in place (this does all the support of the sculptural form) it is then ram packed in the sides with concrete to firmly set it in the ground.

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Once the block & washer are set, the are edges in filled, the i drop! is then set onto the pin. Sounds light & easy writting that! It is a 3 person job to set the i drop! onto the pin.

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In the Afternoon it was off to a Kentish Coastal creek town to install Vane. A smaller & much lighter piece at 1.8m.


Vane was designed & created for a compact garden courtyard space. The piece replaces an old ill fitting water feature. The new sculptural work uses the existing layout of the space to great effect. The following images show a similar installation method on a much smaller scale to that of the i drop! Vane rotates with the wind on a stainless steel and long socket nylon sleeve bearing. This piece evokes the sense of wind, sail, flight & feather - whilst being rooted into the earth and reaching to the sky.

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Vane is created in oak whilst the base washer is charred oak.

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The Sleeping Dragon - toward the mighty knuckle block.

Now working off to the right side of the back rest section. moto_0436.jpg moto_0438.jpg moto_0442.jpg moto_0444.jpg

Forming the link section to the 'knuckle' block. In the 1st image you can just see the start of the banked curve section and in the last image you can also see that big wave hollow cut in the knuckle as it moves round into the sweep of the banked curve.

Use of the convex spokeshave to clean up the carving after the arbortec. Low angle spoke shaves have been used extensively in this project to bring out the radius cuts on the end grain of the seating boards. This link section features a streched low 'carapace' cut styling to give a dynamic sense of movement within the line weights.

That old chestnut - reconstructed.

We were working on this at the start of March. chestnut2.jpg chestnut3.jpg moto_0190.jpg moto_0192.jpg    moto_0204.jpg

The concept was to create a piece for an exhibition about the use of coppiced sweet chestnut wood.

So, we thought it would be a great idea to saw a longish chestnut log in half and then cleave into quarters. 8 pieces. Double tapered, then re - construct using stainless steel connectors. All then set into a plinth formed of shifting oak blocks (books).

So what is it all about then?

You can bring what you like to this, view it merely as a pleasing object, just peer through it - inside it.

It also speaks of a once widely used wood for a multitude of uses such as hop poles, fencing, ladders - (tradition) meets contemporary construction aesthetic balanced on the ever shifting knowledge of expectation. Seeing through, within to the very heart, centre of the form that once again stands like a tree, reaching back up to the sky.

It was quite a challenge to assemble!