“Creativity bursting and spilling right out of the building”
This was the concept for the new signage commissioned for the side elevation of the fabulous Bean & Brush Family Art Cafe in Sale, Greater Manchester.
To achieve it, I picked up on the existing language of the ornate forged steel coffee beanstalks that make the terrace railings so distinctive and combined this with the use of ceramic mosaic as seen in the “opus paladanium” style of the pavement ‘welcome’ mosaic outside the entrance door.
The new signage takes the form of coffee beanstalks growing out from a ground floor window and spreading across the building. From the stalks, beautiful hammered steel leaves and hand-cut steel words combine with mosaic features to proclaim the building’s identity in no uncertain terms.
I collaborated with Luke Lister blacksmiths, who fabricated all of the steel elements and installed the work for me on 16th November 2015. The design also includes ‘halo’ lighting that adds colour behind each of the largest size of hammered steel leaf and the two key mosaic features.
As you will have noticed, one of the beanstalk leaves is bigger than the rest and has evolved into an artist’s paint palette fabricated in ceramic mosaic. I produced this part of the signage, together with the butterfly, whose blue ‘flight path’ starts from the end of the ampersand in “Bean & Brush” and sweeps around to the front of the building, from where it appears to be just about to take off again…
Working on this commission was a complete delight for me. Michelle and Graham, who run the Bean & Brush, are lovely people with plenty of drive, vision and faith so the design consultation with them was lively, productive and enjoyable. As usual, Luke Listers interpreted the designs with great skill and professionalism and made an admirable job of installing the finished work. The final thanks go to Vincent Abbey for taking these wonderful photographs of quite a challenging subject!