Sunday, 30 June 2013

Giant flower pots in the city of Bournemouth

To many people, the word 'city' confers a large and densely populated urban area.    In the past, city status was awarded to towns with a diocesan cathedral although that is no longer the case.   There are a number of British cities which are smaller than some towns or even villages.   St David's in Pembrokeshire, Wales is the smallest city in the United Kingdom with a population of just 2000. Wells in Somerset with a population of 10000 and Ely in Cambridgeshire with a population of around 14000 are also cities.

With a population of around 168,000, Bournemouth is a city when defined by it's population but In 2012, Bournemouth was unsuccessful in its bid for city status, losing out to Chelmsford in a competition with 26 other towns to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

To celebrate the town’s sea views being restored after the demolition of the unloved IMAX Waterfront building and the extension of the Pier Approach open space, on 28th June 2013 the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) played two free outdoor concerts, and it stayed dry all day!   Tickets were awarded with a ballot.

As part of the improvements in the area,   Just as the City Of London has for the Aldgate Experiments, Bournemouth purchased 16 extra large flower pots for planting with enormous olive trees.   When empty these can easily be lifted by one or two people.   You can see the extra large flower pots here:

Giant flower pot

Giant flower pots in the City Of London.

The City of London have purchased twelve giant red plant pots from us as part of the Aldgate Experiments.  Aldgate Experiments is a temporary arts and design initiative popping up at different locations around the Aldgate project area.   The project is designed to create attractive public spaces, improve access for pedestrians and enhance road safety.    This video, made as part of the consultation process reveals thoughts from occupants and workers in the surrounding area:

From huge pot plants to new seating designs and artwork, the streets of Aldgate will be brought to life during development and construction of the scheme.

Aldgate Experiments aims to engage with local residents, students, workers and visitors to design and deliver short term experimental projects to help reveal the potential of the area. It will also help to announce and celebrate the changes to come by testing furniture and planting; monitoring what works well ahead of making final choices for the new spaces.

Aldgate Experiments, St.Botolph's Church, Aldgate High Street.

Helen Flanagan voted sexiest woman in the UK in 2013

...and I like to think that it is this pose for Peta on rock York 1 that helped her win that crown.   Helen is supporting Peta's campaign to increase people's awareness of the cruelty involved in producing exotic animal skins.  The snake skin effect was painstakingly applied to Helen's fine form using body paint.    Helen unveiled the poster in Covent Garden back in May. 

The photos, shot in London's Big Sky studios, were taken by leading celebrity photographer Trevor Leighton many of whose photographs are held in the National Portrait Gallery.   Big Sky's studios in London are so large they can even accommodate a London bus!

You can hire lightweight artificial rock York 1 and many others here:   

Friday, 14 June 2013

Penguin nesting boxes part deux

I have previously mentioned rock style penguin nesting boxes made from boulder G and adapted by St.Andrew's Aquarium in Scotland.   There is now a video on Youtube of them in the aquarium's new penguin exhibit:

Right: penguin nesting boxes made from boulder G

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Away with the fairies

Photographer Cliff Manners had a wonderful idea for studio portraits of children.   Instead of the usual fun but formal images, Cliff decided to offer a fairy woodland themed setting, commissioning an extra large mushroom to add to the effect!   A wonderful idea for a girl's birthday party.   

In the image below, a mirror serves as a woodland dew pond with ripples added by Cliff's deft Photoshopping.   Real boulders and rocks would have been too heavy to place on a mirror and indeed difficult to move around generally so Cliff opted to use our lightweight fake rocks instead.   Take a look at some more fairy images here: Art1st1c Studios Fairy Days

Photo by Cliff manners.  Rocks by

More free rocks (effectively)...

When I say free, I need to explain that the rocks will pay for themselves within a few years and continue to make great savings after that.   If you plant copious amounts of summer bedding and winter bedding in flower beds in your garden, you will already have realised that bedding plants are expensive.   It all depends on the type of bedding but say for example you have been buying Surfinia petunias in 13cm pots.   The sets of seven rocks here: will cover an area equal to over thirty Surfinia.   The purchase price of thirty pots of the bedding could be around £90.00 at 2013 prices.   In the winter, the bedding cost could be around £50.   So, with the bedding plants at £140 per year, the purchase price of the rocks will have been covered in under four years.   Each year after that you are saving money!

Lightweight artificial rocks