Original designs by Gary Pickles. All processes are carried out entirely by hand.
Gary’s skills have been honed over many years, to produce some remarkably beautiful pieces of work, reflecting the natural plant forms that have been his inspiration.
In a modest workshop in East Yorkshire, England, Gary has been producing his range of Copper Water Sculpture since 1999. This was at a time when there were only a handful artists producing this type of work. Since then, his pieces have been widely copied and some low quality imports have arrived on the market, as the popularity of copper in the garden increased. Gary though, has stayed steadfast in his resolve to produce very high quality pieces, from the best materials and to original designs.
Copper Water Sculpture
Copper is the perfect medium for art in the garden. This versatile and weather resistant material can be formed into almost any shape imaginable, from a simple copper leaf, to a full sized and three dimensional, copper statue.
Copper fountains and copper water features can look really beautiful. The surface constantly changing over the years, as the oxide or verdigris slowly develops. This can take decades on a copper fountain, appearing firstly as small tinges on the edges and developing further over the surface. This layer of oxide actually becomes a protective barrier on the surface of the copper water feature, preventing any further degradation.
Unlike most sculptures, a copper water sculpture needs thought to go into how and where the water will interact with it. A simple leaf can be made to channel water from the centre, to each of its fingers. This allows the water to be split up and used as much as possible during its decent, making the most visible and audible spectacle.
Copper fountains are created from sheet copper and tubing. A copper leaf shape can be cut out and the veins and structure created by a process of beating. Using various hammers and traditional tools used in this trade for centuries, the leaf can be made quite life-like. The branch structure of the plant can then be formed and water piped as desired. The overall effect is a plant-like sculpture, which looks perfectly at home in the garden and which seconds as a copper water feature, subtlety adding the noise of running water in the garden.
The materials and technique used for jointing is very important when making a copper fountain, which whilst looking delicate, needs to be extremely strong. A copper leaf needs to be securely attached to a leaf stalk and the stalk, firmly attached to the trunk. Ideally this is done by a process called hard soldering.
Hard solder can be in the form of a phosphor-copper alloy, sometimes incorporating a small amount of silver. This type of solder closely matches the colour of the copper itself and is extremely hard, creating a joint which is stronger than the original material. This is why it is favoured by Metallic Garden, who produce a wide range of copper water features in the form of plants and trees.
When choosing a copper water sculpture, always ensure that it is made from the highest quality materials and using the correct method of construction. That way you will have a piece of sculpture, which will last indefinitely and give you pleasure for life.