We were commissioned by our local Town Council to create a sculptural piece to depict the town.
We worked alongside the Council and the 106 Group to finalise the design.
They had chosen numerous historic & present day interests from the town, as well as the rural & scenic countryside that surrounds it.
We made a full size model in the workshop with ply wood to check the scale, and that we were happy with the content chosen.
We decided to remove the two buildings chosen as they were nearby and could be visited with not too much of a walk. Instead we chose to have a more organic feel and everything relating back to nature. The oak tree, the children playing in the corn fields, the local bridge with the river running underneath, along with fish and an otter, 2 sheep and an open book on the bench with a short verse taken from of a poem by Ted Hughes.
The piece is made from Weathering steel, often referred to by the trademark COR-TEN steel. It is a group of steel alloys which were developed to eliminate the need for painting, and form a stable rust-like appearance. The surface oxidation of weathering steel takes approximately six months.
The steel has been rolled to create the circle with multiple pieces joined together. I have cut all of the content out by hand with a plasma cutter, with exception to the book, the ‘Nemetostatio’ lettering and the seat base, which were laser cut.
Nemetostatio – Romans crossed the River Taw a little outside the present town, and established a succession of military camps there over the years. The Roman fort is believed to have had the name Nemetostatio, meaning “The road-station of the sacred groves”, and may have been located on the site of an ancient druidic sanctuary.
An open book verse –
Ted Hughes OM moved to North Tawton in 1961 with his first wife, the American poet Sylvia Plath. After his marriage to Carol Orchard in 1970 he continued to live in the town until his death in 1998.
Sheep – The Woollen Mill now lies in ruins but is deep rooted in the town history for employment & woollen cloth production.
Otter – The Tarka Trail, is 180 miles long, and follows in the footsteps of the character Tarka the Otter from Henry Williamson’s famous novel and passes through North Tawton. Highlights of the trail include the footbridge over Bailey’s Ford with close up views of the river Taw, walking along the river bank on the Tarka Trail for over a mile.
It was an honour to have our business chosen by the Town Council to create such an iconic piece to be on permanent display at the entrance to our small market town.
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