Tag Archives: Community public art projects

Invited Back


Two projects that I’m currently working on have been commissioned by clients that I have previously made work for. This is excellent news. Follow up projects are affirmation that your work has been well received and the client has enjoyed working with you. That’s a great foundation to build on.

detail from 2006 interpretation panels at Halton Castle

detail from 2006 interpretation panels at Halton Castle

In 2006, designs for bespoke fence panels that interpret the castle’s history made in laser-cut and laser-etched stainless steel with bronze and mosaic embellishments were commissioned for Halton Castle in Runcorn.  It was a great project. Three primary schools, two assistant artists and a fantastic management team that included officers from the landscape architecture department of Halton Borough Council, the HBC Arts Officer and experts from Norton priory Museum helped to steer the project to success.

In 2015, the same management team has commissioned further artist designed interpretation panels to enhance a new line of fencing that makes another area of the castle grounds safe for the visiting public. The new panels provide information relating to the panoramic views that this landmark site affords. These include the bridging point along the Mersey known as the Runcorn Gap, the city of Liverpool and more local points of interest such as St. Mary’s Church and the actual castle buildings.

Bean & Brush Signage, design drawing, 2015

Bean & Brush Signage, design drawing, 2015

Meantime, the owners of the very popular Bean & Brush family art cafe in Sale have commissioned new signage for their building. In 2011, they commissioned a pavement mosaic outside their front door to welcome people in. This mosaic, made with durable frost-resistant glazed porcelain and cast in-situ, features the cafe’s butterfly logo. The new signage has now been designed and approved and is currently being fabricated, ready for installation in the next month. The design picks up the theme of the forged steel coffee bean stalks that adorn the terrace railings and plays with the notion of creativity spilling right out of the building from its windows…

work in progress

work in progress

…with butterflies and bees, forged steel leaves and splashes of colourful mosaic this signage is a commission full of fun to work on!

Centenary Mosaic, Longford Park 1912 – 2012


Installing the first mosaic at Longford Park
Precision Installation Work with Horticon Ltd Landscape Contractors

I worked with two great chaps from Horticon landscape contractors to install the mosaic and so far it’s looking as good as the day we put it in. As the sections are all precast, it could, if necessary, be moved and repositioned in the future without any damage to the intricate mosaic work.

The glazed porcelain Cinca tile pieces are durable, frost resistant and 7.5mm thick. They are set into Conbextra GP high strength, low shrinkage pourable cement grout, backed up with standard mix concrete to a total depth of 75mm. It is built to endure the British weather and should survive well into the future!!

 The Old BandstandThe Old Bandstand. Photo by Vincent Abbey

So now we can look forward to repeating the whole process next year when I make the follow-up mosaic feature depicting park life in 2012!!

The People's Park 1912, photo by Vincent Abbey
The People’s Park, Centenary Mosaic, Longford Park. Photo Vincent Abbey

Centenary Mosaic, Longford Park, Stretford, ManchesterCentenary Mosaic, Longford Park, Stretford, Manchester. Photo Vincent Abbey

Pineapple Panel“Pineapple Panel” Photo Vincent Abbey

Maypole Panel. Photo Vincent AbbeyMaypole Panel. Photo Vincent Abbey
 
Read more about this commission and the design process with St. Hilda’s Primary School in earlier posts!!

Tea for Two at Longford Park


Here are the approved working designs for the Longford Park Mosaic features. The two circular paving features will be located at the bases of two of the colonnades that support the newly refurbished shelters at the back of the formal gardens.

Circular Mosaic Paving Feature DESIGN

Circular Mosaic Paving Feature DESIGN

In both mosaic designs, we have included images contributed by Y5 pupils at St. Hilda’s C of E Primary School, together with requests from the Friends of Longford Park to reflect the People’s Park both when it opened in 1912 and in its centenary year.

PrintCircular Mosaic Paving Feature DESIGN

The work of creating the mosaics has started in the studio. In this cold weather, it is a particularly slow process but I am very pleased with the first sections of work so far completed.

I decided to begin with one of the keystone sections, which have been designed to reflect the ‘art deco’ detail in the facade of the store building between the shelters where the famous cafe once stood.

Key Stone

Here is the progress on the first of these sections:

bahama beige with red stone

testing bahama beige with red stone

2013-03-19 16.06.57

testing bahama beige with black ceramic

2013-03-19 16.20.03

testing bahama beige with sandal

2013-03-20 15.30.07

completed section in bahama beige and sandal – we’ll be making 8 of these in total

Next, onto the first pictorial section……..

a nice cuppa

a nice cuppa tea

teacup 1 completePEOPLE'S lettering Tea for Two in progressbeautiful red rose by Georgia from St. Hilda’s – thanks, Georgia!!
Tea for Two panel in progress

sky blue background added

sky blue background added

tea for two section complete

tea for two section complete

Tea for Two! Only this and 7 more pictorial sections to complete……

Thankfully, some of the wonderful Friends of Longford Park have kindly offered to lend a hand so hopefully there will be more progress to report very soon……

Step into a Colourful Story


Year 3 have created a new game for the whole school to enjoy along the nursery path: a story telling game made in mosaic!!

freshly installed this half term

Each mosaic square features one of the circular stepping stones made by Y3, working in pairs. There are 15 in total. They designed images of characters, objects and locations for the Story Telling path that other children can weave into new stories each time they play, as they leap from one square to another. Featured images include a castle; a beanstalk; a vortex (through which you might leap into a new dimension); a blood-stained dagger; a cute dog; a bolt of lightening and more…..

The children made up the designs on templates and then worked in small groups with me and Luke – who was chief cement mixer for the day – to cast them into concrete down in the school basement. It was like one big mud pie bakery down there, except the mud pies were masterpieces that set to perfection….

More images of the project and full report coming soon…..

The Wise and The Prickly


Children from St. Helen’s joined me for a mosaic workshop in the recent October half term to design stepping stones that will form a trail up to the amazing Dream sculpture at Sutton Manor.

The mosaic designs reflect and celebrate local wildlife, including the owl and the hedgehog, and the area’s mining heritage.

Following this, we’ve just finished making a wonderful set of  ‘STORY-TELLING’ Mosaic Stepping Stones for a path between two playgrounds at Chorlton C of E Primary…..more on that very soon!!