THE Gardening WEBSITE
Humphrey Bowden Copper Fountain Designer and Maker
Humphrey Bowden Fountain Designer and Maker
Telephone 01798 344114 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Humphrey Bowden is a designer and maker of unusual sculptural fountains and water features mainly based on slender plant and tree shapes. These allow water flow to be carefully controlled, to provide subtle visual impact and sound.
His work has been extensively covered in national and international media. All designs are original and each fountain is made individually for the client, so as to interpret his or her ideas. Fountains or other sculpture can be commissioned for any location, from a pond in a private garden to a corporate atrium or large public space. A number of fountains are exhibited annually at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
The fountains are hand beaten from pure copper and silver brazed together, to be permanently resistant to the elements. The warm gold and reddish colours formed naturally when the copper is heated gradually weather to take on the characteristic grey-green patina.
View the main fountain gallery...
Miscanthus Fountain Installation - September 2014
The new fountain design based on a clump of Miscanthus grasses has now been installed in the partly completed pond on site in Sussex.
The picture shows the fountain projecting streams of water from the tips of each pf the 13 grass stems. The water is designed to rise high in the air and then curl over to fall back into the pond below. The water streams form three different tiers, to provide a unified shape.
The fountain was commissioned to provide a tall graceful shape and a good strong sound. The height of the copper Miscanthus structure is 1.5 metres and the overall height of the water is about 3 metres, but can be adjusted.
Fig Tree Fountain - Design in 2013
This fountain has the slim trunk and large rounded leaves typical of a juvenile fig tree in the South of France. The copper leaves are cut by hand and beaten to shape, before being brazed to the delicate stems and trunk of the tree. Water is fed at four different pressures, so that all leaves stream or drip water into the pond below, to make a wonderful light splashing sound.
The fountain has a strong satisfying shape shape and is ideal for a courtyard or garden. A larger version is being designed for a big garden or public space.
Fountain Events in 2012
The year started with a commission in the UK to design a new fountain with three fish spouting water I had never made a fish fountain before and the nearest thing was a snake fountain made for GlaxoSmithKline in 2000. In order to get the fish to look realistic I decided to make them with a copper skeleton covered with copper scales. I cut the curve of each scale by hand and brazed them in strips round the skeleton, to overlap. I made the head and tail by beating them out of copper sheet. Th overall result worked well, with the fish looking alive, as they spouted water over each other.
The wet scales showed wonderful variations of red/gold colours.
Later in the year I designed another fish fountain to exhibit on my stand at the Hampton Court Show. This one had a more dynamic shape of two intertwining japanese carp. The water spout from each fish was designed to collapse in mid air to shower him with drops of water, again showing wonderful colours and making an interesting splashing sound.
There were two interesting commissions for fountains to go abroad. The first was for a large Catalpa Tree to go on a terrace overlooking sea in Mallorca. I love making fountains inspired by this tree because it gives you so much freedom to explore curving sinuous branches. The large heart-shaped leaves are a pleasure to make; after cutting and curving their basic shape, you hammer the intricate veining into them with steel chisels. The overall form of the tree is quite complicated, but it works very well as you see it with all the leaves streaming or dripping water, which shines in the sunlight.
The second commission was for a tall Acer Palmatum tree fountain, designed for a mediterranean garden near Albi in the South of France. This tree is another of my favourites, with its graceful branches and slender finger-shaped leaves which droop downwards. The fountain was designed so that water drips or streams from the fingers of each leaf and falls to the pond below with a gentle sound like rainfall. It is quite heavy and awkward to set up, but my son Garth, who lives near Limoux, further South came to help. He is a painter and does wonderful drawings, but he worked with me for a while and has made beautiful fountains.
Catalpa Tree in Mallorca
Second New Fish Fountain for Hampton Court
This fountain has a pair of Japanese carp, twisting round each other and spitting columns of water into the air. The water columns collapse, to spray the fhe fish with glistening showers of water which highlight their bronze coloured scales and gills. Each fish is made with a copper skeleton covered with beautiful copper scales, the whole intricately hand made.
The fountain was shown for the first time on my stand at Hampton Court (July 3rd to 8th, 2012).
First Fish Fountain
The first of a series of new fountain designs has been commissioned and was installed in a private garden. The fountain is a trio of fish leaping out of the water, with their tails curving upward. They are made in great detail, with overlapping copper scales on a copper skeleton, to produce a very lfelike appearance. They project water upwards from their open mouths, to splash down on their mates.
water glistens on their scales and provides a delicate splashing sound as it falls in the pool below.
Acer Palmatum Fountain for Albi, France
This fountain was designed in 2012 for a mediterranean garden near Albi in the South of France. It has the slender stems and delicate curving leaves of this Acer tree an drips water from the trailing fingers of each leaf.
Early fountain designs were commissioned for show gardens at the Hampton Court and Chelsea Flower shows and this has continued. Other commissions built up rapidly in the UK, mainly for private gardens, but also for public and commercial spaces. His work has been comissioned for countries in Europe, North America, the Far East and Africa.
He works mainly in copper, because it can be formed to make delicate and intricate shapes, which are strong. It can also be heated to produce warm red/brown oxide colours, which eventually weather to an attractive grey green patina.
Humphrey Bowden originally trained as a research scientist at Cambridge and spent several years designing and developing new products in industry. He left in 1990 to work for himself. He had always had a strong interest in painting and sculpture and was excited by the idea of making fountains in organic shapes, because they have such an affinity with water.
Fountains have been exhibited in medal winning show gardens at Chelsea and Hampton Court for a number of years, and there have been many commissions in the UK and abroad.
Significant Projects: - click here to view these
Large Gunera fountain for Strand Building, Hackney.
Large Ricinus fountain for private garden, Switzerland.
Asplenium fountain for show garden, Hampton Court.
Bamboo fountain for Ambassador's Residence, Ivory Coast.
Passiflora fountain for the Isabel Hospice, Hertfordshire.
Swirling Bowl fountain for show garden, Hampton Court.
Aesculapean Snake Fountain for GlaxoSmithKline.
Farfugium Fountain for the Botanic Garden Singapore.
Lotus Fountain for the Hindu Temple, North London.
NUMEROUS FOUNTAINS FOR PRIVATE GARDENS.
I am happy to advise on suitable settings and water areas for the fountains.
FOUNTAINS CAN ALSO BE VIEWED IN OUR GARDEN BY APPOINTMENT.
6 Park Terrace, Tillington, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 9AE, UK.