Slate is a medium I find very interesting. Given its solidity, it is surprisingly malleable, perhaps because it can be fragmented into slivers and 'rebuilt' in layers to produce many different shapes. I am fascinated by the forms created by gradual (or sometimes violent) geological behaviour (layering, folding, upheaval, erosion), and often use these as models for my sculptures. 

Slate stream


In the Southdown garden, slate 'rocks' were used to edge a stream leading to the pond. 

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Slate waterfalls


In the Southdown garden, I designed a slate waterfall to emulate layered sedimentary rock formations that sloped due to geological deformation. The challenge here was to engineer a means by which the water would spread along the length of the waterfall upon reaching it, changing direction from the stream that feeds it.

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A less expansive but more 'explosive' approach in the Reclamation Yard garden:

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Slate serpent


This serpentine sculpture was created from thousands of small slate fragments as a form of rockery to host alpines.

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© 2018 by Ian Bilson

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