Trackway Installation

The final sculpture on the Sefton Coastal Path Sculpture Trail was installed at Hightown just before Christmas.

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This sculpture forms a trackway that runs along the new cycle path leading from Hightown to Crosby beach.

Over 20 feet of wood has been installed which contain artwork relating to the ancient man-made trackway that has been discovered in the area.

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For the artwork we visited Cambridge Children’s Centre and Brunswick Youth Club and delivered workshops based on metal embossing. The images are all of food that our ancestors would have eaten in the area.

Trackway Installation (4)

Going to the location we lay out the trackway

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making some on site adjustments


and then a little bit of digging and turf removal

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before lying them down and securing them in place.

Trackway Installation (1)


Huge thanks to Fiona, John and Rachel, to all at the Cambridge Children’s Centre and the super kids and staff at the Brunny. And as always to Phill and Joe – Adam, you were missed – such a super installation team.


Installation of the Poles

The Poles for the stained glass pieces have been installed and rise like ancient sentinels on the sand dunes at Ainsdale.

install 1

The poles arrived as tree trunks and have been transformed  along the way by the team…PHILS WOOD YARD (3)

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from their arrival as raw tree trunk logs..

Paul on site (1)

to  the stripping of the bark by Paul

and the creation of the window cavities by Phill.

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Finally they were ready to take on site and erect on top of the sand dunes opposite the ‘Star of Hope’ shipwreck.  We arrived with plenty of man-and-woman-power to unpack the van

Glass Pole Installation SH (2)

and walked up the dunes to assess the best spot for digging in the footings,

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checking the sight-line from the beach.

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The dunes are fragile, so the posts had to be carried up by hand – taking 8 of us in harness to lift  them up the steep slope one step at a time.

Snapshot 1 (06-11-2015 17-14)

Then the digging could start.

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Glass Pole Installation SH (10)

When the holes were deep enough, the poles were guided in and embedded with more sand..

Great views!


and a well deserved lunch break – pies all round!

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Glass Pole Installation SH (23)

We left the beautiful poles to overlook the dune path

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and await  the installation of the glass…..

watch this space!

Big thanks to the lifting team:  Anna, Emily, Fiona, Phill, Joe, Adam, Sarah and Sian

The Lizard bench update!

How wonderful to see some people and their furry friends enjoying the Lizard bench down Fisherman’s Path – we thought we would share :

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Sheila’s lovely furry faces Bertie and Elliot

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Geoff and Hannah with the incredible Nico

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Jayne with her perfect little Jack Russels, Florrie and Mavis

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Cheryl with the friendliest dogs ever – Winston and Monty

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John with beautiful Luna.

Thanks so much for sharing these pictures! We love to see pictures of families and pets enjoying the sculptures so if you go visiting please do take a picture and share it with us via our facebook page:


Glazing the Clay Feet

After the bisque firing we went to the Southport Ceramic Studio to see the clay feet. We were really thrilled with the way they turned out, with strong imprints of toes and feet.

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Glazing Clay Footprints (1)

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Glazing Clay Footprints (2)close up

Everyone at the family day workshop had done a great job of rolling on the plants and there is a lovely mixture of both bold and delicate forms.

Glazing Clay Footprints (15)There are over 40 feet – including animal paw prints – that we will be able to choose from for the wall. We spent 3 hours painting on glazes and oxides and rubbing them into the delicate plant traceries.Glazing Clay Footprints (12)

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Glazing Clay Footprints (4)

Glazing Clay Footprints (5)

Under the guidance of Chris

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Glazing Clay Footprints (8)

Then into the kiln for the final firing

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Once fired they look absolutely beautiful, especially against a plank of 7000 year old bog oak

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Next stage is building the wall…



Metal Embossing- Mesolithic Walkway

We have been thrilled to work with two very special organisations to create beautiful artwork for the 6th sculpture in the sculpture trail. This sculpture was inspired by the Mesolithic walkway discovered in Hightown, where there is evidence of prehistoric man creating a pathway down to the sea shore, probably to hunt. An added twist is the likelihood that beavers also added to and used this track-way when man was absent.

Cambridge Children’s Centre was our first location where parents of young children took a well deserved break and took part in our art workshop.

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copper embossing (2)

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 We also visited Brunswick Youth Club where the young people enthusiastically took part in our workshop.

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Using an embossing technique on copper and tin, participants explored what prehistoric people hunted, gathered and ate – looking at mammals, sea life, plants and fungi.

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copper embossing (8)

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Huge thanks and well done on such fantastic creative energy!

Brunswick Youth Club copper (1)

Visit to Lunt Meadows Mesolithic Site

In preparation for the Walkway sculpture workshops, we contacted Ron Cowell of the Museum of Liverpool. Ron is working on the Mesolithic site at Lunt, set in the evocative wetland of the Southport coast, an important dig that is revealing new information about Mesolithic life. A display can also be seen at the Atkinson Museum, Southport.

Ron  met us on the bank and invited us to look at the valley ahead – the setting for the site and the area the people who lived there 8.000 years ago would have used for hunting, gathering and fishing.2015-09-01 14.32.26

Ron has been working on this site against the clock as the area is due for restoration which entails re-flooding the mash land where it is situated.

2015-09-01 14.45.16Due to several days of rain, the site was flooded and gave an idea of what lay ahead, adding to the spirit of the place, but we were able to see the strata being revealed and key elements of the dig.

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Visit to Lunt Site with Ron (4)

We learned that the people using the site were hunter gatherers and would have used the rich resources of the flora and fauna the area offered: fish from the river Alt, bird populations; hazelnuts;  deer in the forest nearby, using every food resource available – perhaps even including the toad we spotted on the way to the site!  2015-09-01 13.29.13-1

Ron gave his time generously and painted a clear and enthusiastic picture of an era that was 8.000 years away from us. He explained how the Sefton Coast has shifted to and fro over these years so that the people living in this rich landscape would have moved between coastal resources, woodland, and fresh water marshes an wetlands.

Visit to Lunt Site with Ron (2)

Visit to Lunt Site with Ron (7)

Visit to Lunt Site with Ron (6)We are enthused now to share this with the workshops for the 6th Sculpture on the trail. We aim to evoke the past through designs inspired by this visit and embossing them on copper – an element that was appearing  later in the era and beginning to overlap with the Neolithic hunting and farming communities.

Thank you Ron for sharing your knowledge on this, making the past come alive and creating links with the present.

Shipwreck Glass Workshop

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On Wednesday we delivered two 2hr workshops in which we created art pieces for the Glass view Sculpture to be placed on Ainsdale sands

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After discussing the shipwrecks and sharing knowledge on this subject we thought about the images that would be most relevant in representing this theme. We then introduced the group to glass scraffito work, a traditional stained glass technique, evocatively described as ‘drawing with light’. We used panes of glass that had been hand fused with beautiful and individual hues of blue, reminiscent of the sky and sea. We prepared these by painting them with a matt black glass paint, ready for the group to work on.

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Choosing from a variety of images including anchors, rope, ships, albatross (traditionally seen as an omen of death and doom if spotted by sailors) and sextant, we then demonstrated how to draw the image onto the black matt and then scratch away the paint to reveal the glass beneath.

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glass workshops Atkinson (10)

This was quite tricky as the process requires a drawing in negative, drawing with light – it took a lot of concentration and there were quite a few furrowed brows and tongues stuck out! However, as the images became more apparent the magic of the process was really thrilling as the beautiful glass was slowly revealed.

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glass workshops Atkinson (9)

Everyone worked incredibly hard, the glass pieces look fantastic and are now ready for firing before we select 10 to be installed in the sculpture.

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This sculpture is inspired by the shipwrecks to be found along the coast, with the glass views offering visions of a nautical theme. It is hoped that visitors will look through and gain a glimpse of the past, offering a reflective moment to consider how this shifting-sand coastline has dominated the lives of sailors and the locals who risked their lives to save them.