Public Art Sculpture for The New Athelstan Museum, Malmesbury

Yesterday I delivered my sculpture to the new extension of the Athelstan Museum – known as the Julia And Hans Rausing Building in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

This sculpture was commissioned by the Team organising the renovation of the former Moravian Church in Malmesbury

I was contacted in the summer of 2017 about the potential for a sculpture to celebrate the change of use and recognise the historic use of this lovely old landmark building in Malmesbury in North Wiltshire.

I was asked to identify a location for the sculpture and immediately wanted to use the space between the two beautiful arched stained glass windows to the roadside of the building.  I wanted people to look up at these windows as they passed the building so the height of the work was critical.

My sculptural work is known for being flowing and curvy; sensuous lines in steel that take the viewers encounter with my sculptures on a journey.

For this sculpture I decided to go in a different direction and take the form of the Moravian Star as the basis for my work.  Studying the geometric possibilities of making a steel sculpture that had the 26 points of a true Moravian star structure.  From this starting point, I let my design develop and deconstructed the shape while considering blacksmithing techniques as the main means of making the work.

Plenty of people in Malmesbury are familiar with my Dad as he taught them metal work or technical drawing at Malmesbury School from the late 60’s to 1990’s  I thought it was a great chance for me to play homage to him and his historical forged weaponry influence on me.

The finished sculpture has a Medieval-weaponry feel to it while also taking the form of a Moravian Star based on a dodecahedron central structure. – this is what gives it a light delicate feel.  When you stand underneath it and look up through it you can see the complex structure inside.

Using different forged tapers sections in the star from flat bars hot-split or fire welded to angle iron forged to a taper the light plays on the surfaces at different angles and will change the dimensions of the work as the light changes.

The finish is a modern etched zinc grey with a dash of 24ct Gold to take your eye up and away in the sky.

The sculpture has been part of a big fundraising effort by the organisers of the renovation and restoration project of the old Moravian Church.  I would like to thank Angela and William Sykes for being confident in my ability to create a sculpture for the space and the Athelstan Museum Team for working with me on the commissioning process.

This project has been a big effort and for those who like to know how long a thing takes, I spent 71 hours on design, consultation and making a scale model and 151 hours were spent making the large scale sculpture, forging, cleaning, assembling, fabrication and finishing.  It weighs 53kgs.

I would also like to thank:
Morgan Scoble-Rees my current workshop assistant and forger of long tapers!
ACNurden builders for their help installing the work
Wells Masonry for supplying a gorgeous piece of Bath stone


29th November 2018


  1. manda on November 30, 2018 at 8:21 am

    wow! i love this!

  2. Unknown on May 10, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Stunning work Melissa.