Manufacturing Monday: Bothwell Street Sculpture

We were asked by HDF Group to create a wooden base for a wonderful new sculpture in Glasgow city centre.  Made of iroko hardwood, the inscription was CNC cut onto individual pieces of wood and then assembled by hand into a round seat.

Commissioned to be placed outside of their HQ and Glasgow’s largest office building, 177 Bothwell Street, the sculpture’s base bares the words from Glasgow’s City Crest:

Here is the bird that never flew

Here is the tree that never grew

Here is the bell that never rang

Here is the fish that never swam

It fits around a galvanized steel tree depicting each of the other items mentioned on the Crest which are all references to stories of St Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow.

The Bird is a wild robin which was tamed by St Mungo’s old Master. The bird was accidentally killed and the death was blamed on St Mungo. He prayed over the dead bird, who is said to have come back to life and flew chirping to its master.

The Tree is depicted now as an oak but was originally a hazel branch. St Mungo fell asleep while in charge of the holy fire in his monastery’s refectory. The fire was extinguished by some of the other boys while he slept. Upon waking, Mungo broke some frozen branches from a hazel tree and prayed over them: causing them to burst into flames.

The Bell is thought to have been given to St Mungo by the Pope and had become an institution in Glasgow by the 15th century.

The Fish has a ring in its mouth: symbolising the ring thrown into the Clyde by the King of Cadzow. He had gifted the ring to his wife Queen Languoreth who then gave it to a knight. After throwing it into the river, the King demanded the ring back from the Queen, who could not provide it. The knight confessed to St Mungo what had happened. He sent one of his monks to fish for salmon in the river: the first fish caught had the ring in its mouth.

Information from Glasgow City Council.

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