‘Chapel Doors’

'Chapel Doors'- Glass-encased handmade bone china discs held within an aluminium framework.

Materials:- Bone china and toughened glass.
Dimensions:- Each door h4m x w3m.

Specially commissioned for the Minster School, Southwell, England in 2007. A year in the making the ‘Chapel Doors’ feature 4,500 handmade bone china discs encased within toughened glass. As the loss rate is always high with bone china, over 5,000 discs were actually made. In the closed position, the doors stand four meters high and six meters wide. The ‘Chapel Doors’ commission was an opportunity to realise a long held ambition to create a translucent wall of bone china capable of changing the atmosphere of an entire space. Though the piece has immediate impact, only by visiting the space at different times of day and throughout the year is the full range of light responsive qualities of this magical material experienced.

Architects Penoyre & Prasad, with whom I worked throughout this project, won the 2009 RIBA  Sorrell Foundation Schools Award for best school design for the Minster School with the award judges citation referring to the “beautiful treatment of the chapel”.

Similar ‘cross-hair’ discs feature in the ‘Cross-hair’ Screen made for Sotheby’s Contemporary Decorative Arts Exhibition.
'Chapel Doors' - Making.
This image shows four stages in making the ‘Chapel Doors’. Clockwise from top left: – Cutting the ‘cross-hair’ discs from raw bone china clay, fired discs awaiting sorting, fixing discs to the inner glass section of a panel and vacuuming the discs to ensure they are free of dust before sealing the panel closed with an outer sheet of glass.
 
I intend to add a more detailed ‘Making’ page for the ‘Chapel Doors’ project at some point soon – so please check back again sometime to read more.
 
In the meantime there are a number of posts about my making methods over on my Instagram feed. Click the icon below to visit.