Construction of Mariners Way Passage House
It has been quite a journey from the unraveling of the Mariners Way ball, the cleaning, the re-knotting and now the execution of the new form; the passage house. There were a number of factors against me as I now have less rope available and even less time to construct it in. I wanted to stay true to my original idea that included an entrance and exit of the house with rope weaved around wooden poles. The pole were easy to find but the doors were tricky to figure out. I had thought of using steamed wood to make the archway but from researching of how to do it I didn’t have enough time to master the skill. In the end I decided to use copper pipe for the doorways and learnt the techniques of pipe bending.
When the pipes were bent I then knotted half-hitches to cover the copper using tarred marlin rope. The wooden pole were dyed and treated with varnish. After preparing in the studio I was ready to construct the passage house at Heathercombe Gardens.
I laid the passage house template I then positioned the doors in the direction of the two ports sailors would have walked from (Bideford and Dartmouth).
The fourteen poles were set into the ground ready for the knotted rope to be weaved.
The rope was then weaved in and out of the poles building up the house slowly throughout the afternoon.
We finished the day with almost all the rope weaved around the poles and myself and Jack decided to carry on tomorrow.
Here’s a close up of the spiraling rope around the doorway.
A few hours of work in the morning the piece stated to take shape. The tops of the poles were cut and then a big clean up before we could look at the final result. Some people have asked whether or not there is a roof and it has been intentionally left out. The reason for this is because I want people to approach it like a ruin. Something that used be there but through the passage of time parts of it have been lost. The improvements of sailing ships and a greater demand for imported goods meant trading between the two ports decreased and there was little need to make this long distance walk for work.
Here are some shots of the final result of the passage house to give you an idea of it’s place in the Dartmoor landscape.
The house is up until the 29th September until it is moved to the White Moose gallery in Barnstaple for my next exhibition.