Brick Work

‘Community Seat’ is a life-sized, carved brick sofa. Weighing in at approximately 3.5 tonnes and composed of 194 Staffordshire Blue bricks. It has toured the country and has had temporary homes in six locations before finally coming to rest at Broomhill Sculpture Park, North Devon. Carving this behemoth took four weeks, with the hollowing out of each brick taking an additional ten days. The firing process, which was a heavy reduction to 1100°C, took one week (cool to cool) in a gas-fired ‘crocodile’ kiln at Ibstock Brick’s Lodge Lane site. The final siting in 2004 involved the mortaring together of the pieces and took one week.

Amy’s latest brick piece is ‘Se Bryck’, a companion armchair to her ‘Community Seat’ piece, kindly sponsored by Ibstock Brick Ltd. It was started at Art in Clay as a public demonstration over the three days and then went to Amy’s studio for more carving. Made of over 300 standard house bricks, carved by hand when raw clay. After carving each piece was removed from the whole, hollowed out and numbered before being fired at the Ibstock Brick South Holmwood site to 1060°C in a gas-fired trolley kiln for one week (cool to cool). It has been reassembled each time using a system of numbers and arrows.

The name ‘Se Bryck’ comes from the Cornish; Se is the word for seat or throne and Bryck means brick.

This work was made to reflect ideas about community. A group of people being together in one place, having certain attitudes, interests and beliefs in common as well as a joint ownership. Each component is unique and vital for the whole. The whole is a symbol of comfort and security, of home. It has been exhibited at a number of sites across the UK over the last decade.

I am very pleased to announce, we have finally found a permanent home for the brick chair! What a perfect place it has ended up in too. If you have never been, I urge you to visit Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens near Penzance, it is a stunning setting, with intriguing and awe-inspiring sculptures. My personal highlight is the mesmerising ‘Skyspace’ by James Turrell and ‘The Restless Temple’ by Penny Saunders. There is also a fabulous eatery, a gallery as well as gift and plant shops all on site.

Now with a view of St. Michael’s Mount and on the ancient pilgrims’ route of St. Michael’s Way, it represents fruition of a journey. I have returned to Cornwall, my childhood home after many years away. It seems appropriate for ‘Se Bryck’ to have found a permanent home here too.