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Wednesday 10 December 2014

Revisiting previous bench projects - how were they doing?

Yesterday, I was on the other side of town and decided to check in on a couple of previous projects. They are two benches installed in public areas, so I wanted to make sure they hadn't been vandalised or damaged.

The bench at Shirehampton was made with a group of local people of various ages at the end of 2013 and installed in January 2014. Here's how it looks after the first year:

The first thing that I noticed vandalism! Apart from the evidence that wild birds were using it as a perch occasionally, the bench was as it had been when installed. It was nice to see that the untreated wood was aging beautifully. Larch, Sweet chestnut and Oak are all durable timbers, so I didn't use finishing oils on them and they have turned a lovely silvery colour.

The next bench was up in Leigh Woods, on the protected area of Stokeleigh Camp iron-age hill fort. It was made and installed in 2009 and did have some finishing (tung) oil applied at first. The five years since then have allowed mosses and other plants to move onto it and I think that it now looks part of the landscape in a pleasing way.

I could see that a couple of old attempts had been made at scratching names into the timber. Seasoned oak doesn't give up that easily though! The scratches were hardly noticeable. Judging by the wear in front of the bench, it has had plenty of use and hopefully has been enjoyed by a lot of people.