Little Harbour Childrens Hospice in Cornwall commissioned Ironshirt to produce some pieces for their Mermaids Cove sensory garden.
The concept of the garden was to reflect the Hospices coastal position and provide a sensory adventure for the children whilst staying at the centre.
The Mermaids House was to be the focal point for the whole garden, a secret dwelling at the centre of the adventure.
The access had to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and the space inside was to be put to use in the summer as an ice cream parlor where the children could serve each other ice creams from the mermaids larder.
the Mermaids House was the focal point of the garden, but there were other pieces needed as well. The Mermaids tail was carved from two pieces of wood and then clad in scales made from aluminum, copper, stainless steel and spoons.
Three sharks fins were constructed using ferro-cement and rubberised paint.
Motion sensors activate sprinklers that shoot in different directions over them, and small tiny multi coloured spot light catch the wet black surfaces with blues and reds.
The gardens Designer had originally planned to include a shipwreck for the children to explore. Early consultations with the Hospice found that this wouldn’t be practical due to safety and accessibility issues. Determined to include a shipwreck somehow they came up with the idea of a shipwreck in a telescope.
The ‘Viewinator’, a ship wreck and sea monster automaton was constructed from scratch. Layers of scenery cut from sheet steel was painted with enamels and given movement using gears and cogs and a sacrificed two speed hand drill.
‘The Pride of Zaragosa and the Sea Monster’ has become a favourite part of the garden. Proving as popular with the adults and staff as with any of the children.
And here’s a little clip of the sea monster in action!