Award Winning Layers of Perspex<sup>®</sup> Acrylic

Award Winning Layers of Perspex® Acrylic

Our Journey to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 

It all started back in October 2017, when award winning garden designer John Everiss approached the Perspex® brand with a grand vision and copious amounts of enthusiasm. Based no more than 12 miles away from where our Perspex® acrylic sheets are produced in Darwen Lancashire, John was keen to come and chat about his latest design for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, in terms of both construction methods and the best material for the job.

John arrived with his A3 sized hand sketches, and we arrived with back-up from one of our Perspex® Brand Technical Service Managers. Sketched in front of us was a proposed giant sculpture to be made in some shape or form from Perspex® acrylic. Our minds started ticking over the enormous amounts of material required, given the layered effect desired by John, but he was very quick to tell us not to panic and that the statue would be hollow inside; effectively it is a series of rings so not quite as much Perspex® acrylic as it would first appear! Utilising our expert knowledge we had it all planned; sections of the layers would be paired together and cut from specific sheets to minimise the amount of 3050 x 2030mm sheets required. Each sheet would then have ‘spacers’ to create a gap between each layer the Perspex® acrylic, spreading the sheets evenly.

With the fear of Perspex® Clear getting ‘lost’ in the grand design, together we decided that a gentle tint would add to the sculpture, yet, not overpower it. John was dazzled by our iconic Perspex® colour chains and was really keen on the edge colour given from our Perspex® Frost Artic Blue colour chip. This was great news, as we could easily reproduce this colour with a gloss finish preferred for the head rather than the standard double sided matt surface. It’s great to be able to offer such flexibility.

Fabricating the mass object would be Stage One Ltd based in North Yorkshire (UK) who specialise in large art installations and constructed the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron. They have a fantastic setup with three and five axis cutting, steel framework fabrication and structural engineering design for a piece this size.

Before the cutting could begin, came the science bit. John and his team used cutting-edge technology to create this unique sculpture. First, they scanned the model’s head and arms to generate a highly detailed 3D digital image, which was then turned into the slices of data used to create the multiple layers of the sculpture.

Stage One laser cut each section from the Perspex® acrylic and as the weeks drew closer we received the most amazing images of the sculpture being built up in sections. The sculpture was transported down to Chelsea and constructed onsite; finally the garden was completed with boulders and plants surrounding the 12 feet high blue beauty.

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The Myeloma UK Garden was displayed in the new garden category Space to Grow along Royal Hospital Way. These gardens offer original ideas, trends and take-home messages to help you to transform your outdoor spaces and feel the benefits that growing can bring. We are very proud to announce that the garden won a silver-gilt medal – well done to all the team involved.

The garden was inspired by Myeloma UK supporter Peter King, whose wife Gill, and brother Graham both passed away in 2016 after living with the disease for which there is still no known cure. The head and shoulder sculpture at the centre of the garden is modelled on Peter and Gill’s daughter Gemma, and represents the role of the carer, who is often a pivotal figure in ensuring the patient remains the central focus.

It is always a great pleasure to see Perspex® acrylic featured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the world’s most prestigious flower show, but there was something extremely humbling to be part of this charity garden.

Myeloma UK has released a series of videos documenting the build of the garden:

Myeloma UK at Chelsea Flower Show - Introduction

Myeloma UK at Chelsea Flower Show – The Build Week One

Myeloma UK at Chelsea Flower Show – The Build Week Two

Myeloma UK at Chelsea Flower Show – The Final Day

Take a look at more case studies which harness the creative potential of Perspex® acrylic.

*Photo credit: Charles Marriott