Coriolis was the design that for its size, gave me the most headaches and sleepless nights… so far. I have always liked to set a challenge, but this one still leaves me wondering how I decided to take such a leap of faith! I wanted to create a timeless design specifically for the new Rose Garden at Elton Hall that was both geometric and ethereal, and which could be reflected in some of the topiary hedge design. In most cases, I can tell the viewer exactly why I designed a particular sculpture for a setting, but in this one, it seemed to arise from a gut instinct that is hard to pinpoint.
The water was to fall in gaps between spiralled coils so that it not only made a myriad of ‘drips’, but also rotated around the sculpture in an eye-catching overall movement. This exterior was fixed in my mind, but the interior had to be strong yet solid, plus practical and water-bearing but also beautiful. It was here that I used stainless steel within copper, spiralling it in the same direction, but more steeply so that it could give enough strength to the outer coils. The sculpture was modelled around a steel cone, but actually mounting the outer spirals was certainly interesting – They had to be lowered from a scaffold as 4 layers that uncoiled themselves around the structure under gravity (needing much further adjustment prior to very complex welding). The water was then piped up 4 of the hidden support tubes into a upper conical chamber, and down 4 more, exiting en-route and allowing the water to deliberately de-pressurise.
For the record, nobody other than the client believed me that it would work!