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Coral Reef bird pool

I had a day off the other week so I went to Lyme Regis on the Jurassic coast on the Devon/Dorset border. I had a hunt for some fossils on the beach but the best finds were on a stall on the front.

I bought this wonderful piece of polished fossilised coral which is 345 million years old (carboniferous period).

I thought it would make a great centrepiece for a birdbath, although I felt a bit guilty that I would be hiding the unpolished underside by cementing it to the bowl. So to appease my guilt here’s a photo.

When I got home, I couldn’t wait to start. I made the concrete bowl using the same method and mould as the Garden Treasure bird pool.

Again I just let the fossil inspire my design, I didn’t plan it, just let the fossil talk.

The grey cement mortar you see here isn’t there to make me work fast! It was a coat to bring up the surface so that the coral wouldn’t be raised too high above the rest of the mosaic. Surrounding the coral I used copper gold leaf glass and milliefiori.

I wasn’t sure what to do next and mulled things over for five minutes, then it all seemed to make sense.

I emulated the design of the coral and like nature that does it so well I attempted to find perfection in imperfection.

Picking out the cement that is squeezed up above the surface of the tile.

Grouting and cleaning with my trusty toothbrush (don’t worry, I use a different one on my teeth!)


Coral Reef bird pool made with hand made concrete bowl and using  polished fossilised coral, gold leaf glass, hand gilded metal leaf glass, milliefiori, glass rods, pearl shell rounds, smalti, glass tiles.

Want to learn how to make your own bird bath ?  I have a course coming up on 4th and 5th September 2021 ….







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  1. It’s a beauty, Kate. I love work that is instinctive like this and the result is really satisfying to look at.
    You’ve inspired me with these bowls. I made some reinforced cement bowls many years ago and my mum still has hers for plants on her veranda. I’ve asked her if I can take it back to the studio and give it a mosaic makeover and she likes the idea, having seen what you’ve achieved. Thank you!

    1. Funny you should say that, it’s exactly what I thought after it was finished. I love the way African design uses simple motifs that echo elements from the natural world.

  2. Kate, Oh My Goodness! You make such beautiful art with these mosaics. You truly have an eye for beauty and talent for making it come to life. Thank you for sharing.

    Happy Mother’s Day to All!

  3. Seeing your process is fascinating–and the product is gorgeous! Using the fossil a the centerpiece was a great idea. I’ve always wanted to visit that part of England!

    1. Thank you! It’s a beautiful coastline all the way down to South Devon. Worth a visit. Look me up if you’re ever down this way 😀

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