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Meet the heavy metal mob

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: November 01, 2012

By Frank Ruhrmund

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SHOULD you be looking for a work of art for your garden that's completely different, that nobody else, not even the proverbial Joneses, can match, then Ross Haylett, John Wallis and Morveth Ward, who make up Gulval-based Tranquil Iron, could well have the answer.

They are, in fact, currently considering what best to do with a massive 5-tonne,12-feet tall, free-standing granite slab which, when they arrive at the right solution and it meets all their criteria, will be a talking point wherever it goes.

All three happen to have been brought up in Penwith, when young Ross Haylett and Morveth Ward attended "the same sleepy, idyllic primary school", and, although they have received little or no formal art education, and are perhaps all the better for that, they have always been aware of the district's art history.

Reputedly, John Wallis, who farms the same land as his father who began working way back in 1917, has a family connection with the celebrated St Ives primitive artist Alfred Wallis, and he and his colleagues share an innate passion for sculpture. Indeed, they claim that their sculptures are "passionately conceived through the harmonisation of ancient stone and modern metalwork".

Two of their creations have recently been installed in the nearby Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, and anyone who has seen them will surely agree that their claim is fully justified.

Learning as they are going, guided by their intuition and instincts as to what may be right or wrong, using their hands-on skills developed by their mix of engineering and farming experiences, they invest each piece that they make with time and thought. Insistent upon striking the right balance between their materials, determined that neither the stone nor the metal will detract from the other, they go to great lengths to ensure that their creations will sit peaceably within their destined sites, predominantly, outside areas such as community spaces, parks, gardens and so on.

Almost human in a way, each of their striking creations possesses its own personality, something which, as John Wallis says, springs from the fact that their inspiration does not come from within the sculpture, but rather that the sculpture forms inspiration within them.

Whichever way, as it's said, the cookie crumbles, it certainly works for them. From the finding of the right piece of granite and its removal from an almost inaccessible site to their workshop, the logistics and heavy machinery involved are staggering, to the actual employment of their combined "unrefined creativity", is, by any standard, quite a journey.

Comforting to come across someone like Ross Haylett, who set up his own agricultural engineering business some seven years ago, and now cheerfully admits that since meeting his fellow natural born sculptors, John Wallis and Morveth Ward, he has not looked back, it is this sense of togetherness which underlines, strengthens and helps to make all that they do in order to produce, as they say, "pieces we are proud of", so impressive and immensely pleasing.

Further information regarding Tranquil Iron sculptors can be obtained by e-mail: info@tranquiliron.co.uk or by visiting their website, www.tranquil.com

From left, Ross Haylett, John Wallis and Morveth Ward.

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