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Swanage Sea Life Bench

May 2019

The Sea Life Bench project was ‘opened’ by PAW’s President Philip Jackson on Thursday May 30th at 11am. It was a great achievement for The Swanage School students and Burngate Stone Carving Centre, and for Carlotta Barrow who has led the project.

Carlotta’s inspiration for the Sea Life Bench was the constant movement of the sea and the life beneath the waves. Stone panels with a crest of a wave carved on the top evoke the rolling waters, and pupils from The Swanage School, led by art teacher Sarah Mulhern developed their designs and carved the panels at the Burngate Stone Carving Centre. We are grateful to Lovell’s Quarry for providing the pre-cut stone panels, to Scott Taylor for carving the waves, and to the Albion Quarry for providing ‘practice’ stone as well as various sponsors – notably the AONB (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and PAW. The completed panels are now in place, together with the inauguration stone, alongside the garden path overlooking Swanage pier.

July 2018

Last week, Year 10 Art students visited Swanage seafront to see their stone, which has taken months of carving at Burngate. Carlotta Barrow welcomed us, with an employee from Wessex Water who have sponsored this project, along with Holmes Garden Centre who provided the plants, and of course PAW!

It was GREAT to see the students’ faces when they saw the chair for the first time. An official opening will happen soon, but thanks again to Carlotta for making this happen and Jigger, Di and Roger for all their support and hard work.

20th April 2018

‘A wave of excitement as the Sea Life panels come to life!’

We were very pleased to welcome year 10 pupils from the Swanage School back to Burngate on Friday 20th April. After a hard week of mock GCSE exams they came with enthusiasm and have produced some lovely work. Seen here with Head master Tristram Hobson and Art teacher Sarah Mulhern, with their almost complete panels.

March 2018

The Sea Life Panels are cleaned up after winter storage. The Burngate Stone Centre prepared for the return of The Swanage School pupils to re-sume work on their Sea Life panels.

The next carving session is scheduled for Friday 16th March at 9 am. Although this session was short due to school commitments a lot was achieved and we look forward to seeing the pupils back to carry on.

We would like to thank all our sponsors. This is an amazing experience for the pupils and wonderful original work is being produced.

Friday 17th November 2017

We had a very successful day, Friday 17th November, when Sarah Mulhern arrived with her students (year 10) from the Swanage School. They had all been working on their designs to the same format, and we were very impressed with their work.

On Wednesday, Roger collected the pre-cut stone from Scott Taylor who had carved the wave effect on the top. Thursday, Roger and Carlotta prepared the workshops at Burngate and laid out the stones, measured up and drew the circles that would contain the designs.

8.15 am Friday 17th, we opened the workshops ready for the students. Fourteen arrived, so they were divided, seven with Jigger and seven with Carlotta.

We were very pleased we had had the first practice run as all the students were able to start straight away, transferring their designs and carving.

We had ordered extra stone so Sarah was able to create a panel, it was decided she would tackle the Swanage School Logo, with help from Roger it is looking really good.

It was hoped to line up all the carvings to get an idea of how they would look, but the sun went! however we did manage to photograph Martha’s shell.

We have decided we need two more two hour sessions next year to complete the panels. They will be safely stored at Burngate.

Huge thanks to all, Lovell’s Quarry for providing the stone. Burngate and staff ( Di Quinn, Kate Cross and Sue Kendall) for facilities and hosting the project. Roger Mordaunt and Jigger Stockley for so much involvement, knowledge and tuition. Wessex Water, Red Orb Artists, ANOB and PAW for funding.

Click here to view a video of our day.


3rd November 2017

Today, GCSE Art students are at Burngate Stone Carving Centre learning a new skill as part of a live project, funded by PAW.

Carlotta, Jigger and Di are enthusiastically showing students how to carve their Sealife designs into stone brought up to the centre from Portland yesterday.

In a few weeks time, we will be back here completing their final design which will form part of a sculpture which will be a permanent piece of artwork in Swanage town.

Let’s hope their arms keep going today! I think there might be a few sore muscles tomorrow morning parents!!

Thank you to all parties involved so far . . . the sculpture is going to look Amazing!

Sea Life Young People’s Stone Carving Project. Pupils of the Swanage School are creating sea life designs that will be carved by them on panels to create the back of a bench on the Jurassic Coast path. They will be instructed in local art of stone carving by tutors at the Burngate Stone Carving Centre. Photos include: Creating the wave effect that will form the top of the bench, pupils after field studies creating their designs, a visit to the school with a sample of stone. The stone has arrived and the bench before the transformation!