A couple of months ago Chedworth Roman Villa got in touch and asked if I was interested in submitting work for their inaugural art exhibition this year. They wanted the works to have some relationship with the Villa, a sense of place. I decided to pick out elements from the Chedworth Roman mosaics to use for inspiration.
I had leaf bird baths on my mind having just made a couple only recently and so the heart leaves seemed to fit.
This one which is a detail of the dining room mosaic showing Cupid as the figure of Spring with flowers and a bird and the two heart leaves…
And this one with the two heart leaf motifs…
I made three heart leaf bird baths, two based on these designs using glass tile and my hand gilded metal leaf glass and one in a more contemporary style using just my hand gilded metal leaf glass. They are hand formed using wire and cement mixtures. Then I searched around the reclamation yards for something I could use for plinths to stand them on. I found some concrete balustrades and took some time up-cycling them.
I turned them upside down, and asked my stone sculptor friend to cut the bottom but now top square off. I cleaned them with patio cleaner to remove as much of the algae as I could, then I built up layers of concrete around the top (now bottom) square to make it more stable as well as give it all a more rounded look.
They remind me a bit of horses hooves, but they look ok in the grass!
Although I had added yellow cement colour into the mix to match the colour of the rest of the plinth which worked quite well, the texture was too different so I painted them. The only masonry paint I could find was “stonestone” but it was too pale and bright so I added cement colours brown and yellow and a little black paint and lots of sand to get the texture the same overall. It was fun and I was beginning to feel like I might start up a paint effects company!
Hmm, maybe not, but they are quite an interesting colour… My daughter calls it “nude”, my partner calls it “nuddy”!
And it is very much like nude, in fact it is so nude it almost disappears…strange…
So anyway here we are, some photos of the finished bird baths, “Spring Heart Leaf”, “Heart Leaf” and “Golden Heart Leaf” some taken at Chedworth Roman Villa and some in my back garden. They are temporarily fixed to the plinths to give buyers the option to purchase with or without plinth and make transportation easier.
See mosaics and sculptures by various artists at the
Inaugural art exhibition
12th September – 4th October 2015
Chedworth Roman Villa,
Yanworth, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3LJ
Telephone: 01242 890256