New Work – An Oak Leaf Wreath

February 7th, 2012

This wreath was made for a garden in Wiltshire. The oak leaves were modelled in clay and cast in lead, and the lettering on the central plaque was cut in Delabole slate.

The arch was designed by George Saumarez Smith of Adam Architecture to complement the New House, and we were commissioned by the owners to design and make a plaque commemorating the building of the house.

The arch was made from Stoke Ground Bath stone, the wall behind red brick, and the path in front paved in stone, so the challenge was to choose materials for the plaque that would stand out but work in sympathy with the other materials. We decided on a plaque in Delabole slate, surrounded by an oak leaf wreath cast in lead. There is a wonderful tradition of lead garden sculpture in Britain, the colour works perfectly with the slate and matches the pair of lead planters in front of the arch.

Once designs were finalised, Geoffrey cut the lettering on the slate and modelled the oak leaf wreath in clay. The wreath was cast by the excellent team at Bulbeck Foundry near Newmarket ( The finished piece was installed in May and we hope will weather slowly and gracefully as the garden grows up around it.