County firm's amazing sculpture
A Lancashire businessman, has helped create what is believed to be the largest ceramic sculpture in the world.
It is a 50ft tall, 20-tonne ceramic structure called Infinity Blue, inspired by the shape of cyanobacteria, one of the world’s smallest organisms.
The creation, by Jon Wilson from Clitheroe, is proving a star attraction at Cornwall’s Eden Project, where thousands of visitors have flocked to see it since the exhibition, Invisible Worlds, opened last month.
The “breathing” sculpture has 32 cannons that fire out perfumed vapour rings, representing the process of photosynthesis, developed by the bacteria three billion years ago.
Jon, co-owner of Blackburn-based company Darwen Terracotta, said: “We get many interesting requests for jobs, but this is certainly one of the strangest things we’ve ever manufactured, but we are incredibly proud to be involved in such a special project.
“There are 260 ceramic pieces in Infinity Blue, all made in our factory on Ribble Business Park, and each piece had to be carefully wrapped before they were transported down to the Eden Project, which were then fitted on to a steel structure. It was a huge job – but we had it finished in four months and that’s a great credit to our skilled workforce.”
The firm was recommended to do the job by the Royal College of Arts in London.”
Darwen Terracotta has forged a worldwide reputation, having completed restoration work at the Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum in London, New York and Canada.
Jon added: “Our work is probably 50/50 split between new build projects and historic restorations, but Infinity Blue means our work is on show at a huge tourist attraction. We’ve been restoring the original façade at the National History Museum too, and that’s a bit like painting the Forth Bridge.”