Thursday, 20 August 2015
Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red [Again]
In October Liz and I were among those who queued to see the amazing display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London. It was very moving – but when I went into the shop to buy one, they said that the last one had been pre-ordered sometime before. I was really thrilled therefore to receive a housewarming present from Adrian and Marion in February – one of the poppies.
It came, dismantled, carefully packed in bubble wrap with a booklet explaining the story of the installation and a certificate of authenticity, plus instructions on how to assemble the ceramic flower onto the metal stem [and a note explaining that the rust on the stem was all part of the artwork!]
But how to display it? I didn’t want to ‘plant’ it in a garden [Dorset or Norfolk] and I was anxious that in a vase it may get knocked over and smashed. Stainless steel stands, and display tubes were for sale on the internet, and some people have mounted theirs into a base. But anything used would have to be sturdy and support the weight of the heavy ceramic head. The poppy has remained safely in its box for six months whilst we pondered on the best thing to do.
Ian, our next door neighbour here has a huge stack of stones in his garden, which came from a stonemason’s yard. Bob explained what we needed, and he kindly said we could take any piece that we wanted.
Bob chose a block of granite. He measured the diameter of the stem, and drilled a 5mm hole part way through the block. Using epoxy resin, he stuck the stem into the block, and then assembled the flower. It now has pride of place beside our fireplace.
Thanks to Bob for the DIY, Ian for the stone, and Adrian and Marion for the poppy itself. I wonder what has happened to the other 888,245 poppies? We shall certainly treasure ours.