The David Harber Story - video with transcriptPrevious
We have been producing sundials, sculptures and water features for twenty years now. The first piece I made was an armillary and I was lucky enough to sell it which effectively got us going - or got me going - and business has grown ever since.
The armillary, based on a 250 AD design, we embellished it, we evolved it... And it really is one of our signature pieces. We make it in a range of sizes, all very much tailored to the client's requirements; different materials: stainless steel, bronze, brass. They are destined to be around for 100s if not thousands of years.
The dials have worked as the backbone of our business. Sundials are always a marriage of art and science. The mathematics that decree how a sundial works is very stict and cannot be compromised. So one has to apply oneself to the process of converting pure maths into a sculptural piece.
We were creating sculptural pieces with a sundial element. And there came a point when the sundial element ceased to be of relevance or importance to that particular client. And It was therefore purely a sculptural piece. It was a very exciting departure. I still love and adore my sundials but I'm excited by the freedom of pure sculpture.
Having worked for twenty years now with sundials and free sculptural pieces, we have on occasions included water with a sundial. We have also worked with sculptural pieces adding a water element. It is one thing to make a piece that functions but the joy is to make it really beautiful and sculptural in its own right as well.
Originally by myself, then with a small team of two or three that's grown with incredible different skill sets - whether it's welding, etching, gold leafing - I'm very lucky that I have a team around me that allow us to have a broad range of skills but all under one roof at our workshop/studios in Oxfordshire.
With all the pieces that we produce, they are effectively bespoke. They are made to order for the client. We don't carry the stock. We don't make things in advance. It's incredibly important that we visit the site to work out any technical problems, to work out what the mood of the site is, the style of the site, and the desires of the client.
What we will try and do is extract from the client what they are hoping for, in terms of whether it wants to harmonise with what's there, or to become a bold statement in its own right.