Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One last brew.

One last brew as we eagerly await my father-in-law with his machine to load the new works for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010.

Next to the iPhone, the 'Kelly kettle' or storm kettle pictured below, has been a tool that fits directly into my life and has become a reliable friend... and of course, if I had to choose between the two?? Kelly kettle would win! Where would we be without a brew?!
A chance to stand back and reflect on where we have been and where we are going, whilst keeping us warm and quenching a thirst.
The Kettle is powered by fire, so also soothes my pyro-tendencies in a controlled environment.
If you haven't seen one it's a device of two halves, the bottom pan contains a small fire, - dried leaves and Willow offcuts are perfect! - and the top section is basically a double skinned chimney/flask that holds the water, the heat passes through the chimney boiling the water in anything from two to five minutes depending on how dry your kindling is.
Such a charming creation compact ,robust and works in all weathers . Don't leave your cork in though while brewing unless you have a soap on a string handy!

We're loaded, strapped down and ready to go.

A 4am start and arriving at the showground at 7.30.
Here are the components being lifted into place, directed by Pete Loramer who personally worked on the steel frame for this giant sculpture.

Another piece being lifted into place guided by Andrew Langley MD of Artfabs and Pete who I have strategically shot here behind the sculpture so as not to distract from it's beauty - they're not looking their best at this time of the morning!

Here it is, The RHS Tree of knowledge, designed for the Royal Horticultural Society's first ever garden which sits within the continuous learning area in the Grand Pavilion .
The tree ties in with the year of biodiversity and we have invited members and celebrities to share their words of wisdom/messages that encourage life in the garden. All of which are to be written on leaves and attached to the tree... Still there's a lot to do before then!
Jeremy Irons, Chris Beardshaw, Sarah Greene, Julian Fellowes and David Bellamy are amongst the contributors.

At this point I had been onsite weaving for two days and true to his word as always Leigh arrived with our bench and it's two makers.. Sue Tranter and Gary Ramsden, both of which are students at Warwickshire college studying furniture making.
They both embraced my design and the opportunity to create a piece for the show and to put the final piece towards their end of year project. Problem solving, decision making, and communicating throughout resulted in a final curved bench that is absolutely Gorgeous!

Piecing it together...

and it's comfy too!

I also enlisted the help of my friend Steve who has been the plants man for all of the BBC Gardeners World Live features that I've been involved with.
He's on the Kew diploma now. Chrissie offered her help too, which was quite a relief to have them there and great to watch them reacting to the sculpture with confidence .


Salix said...

Absolutely fantastic, Tom. I love the look of your weaving technique, so beautiful.
......and that bench is indeed gorgeous!

Kathryn said...

Tom, your willow tree of knowledge is inspiring! I very first saw you at Birmingham food and drink show, it's so brilliant your are now featured at Chelsea! I wrote a little about you on my blog, hope you like it

Anonymous said...

this is an amazing tree, and love the idea of the leaves having little messages :)