An intriguing selection of garden furniture was brought to our attention by a reader. Designer Helen Nock creates unique pieces with a look of fossils and sealife. A self-taught ceramicist, Nock’s direction towards garden funiture came from work experience offered by her blacksmith associate, Nathan Bennett.
The pieces are a romantic take on two art forms, combining her love of ceramics and metal work. It is reclaimed slate from local and Cornish yards which acts as the base for the designs. Other found materials, ranging from glass, to pottery and pebbles are then incorporated to create these charming compositions.
Often inspired by the history of a found item, the designs are formed around those ideas, taking liberties with imagination to tell stories and impart imagery. In order to produce mosaic sections or special effects, Nock also uses handmade stained Smalti glass.
To compete with the great variety of the outdoors and ensure the longevity of her creations, weatherproof mortars, adhesives, and backing boards are used. Experiments in waste aggregates are also undertaken with clinker from forge as well as dust from the base moulding. Creating the unnatural sheen on the surfaces takes repeated sanding and waxing, offerring a unique look and a highly waterproof exterior. The metal bases are made by Nathan Bennett and is often galvanised to make them rust proof.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, June 2020.