Barrell Pebble Seats. More than just a stone bench.
Barrell Sculpture has been making Pebble Seats since 2010, and until recently it seemed Ben’s were the only Pebble Seats available. Other companies have now started using the name Pebble Seat but we’re confident that Barrell Pebble Seats have something unique to offer, and we think the worldwide demand for Pebble Seats can support more than one option.
We are a premium choice, we make no apology for that. Every Barrell Pebble Seat is an original sculpture and we would never want them to become mass produced. In Ben’s words, the Pebble Seat is the embodiment of everything he loves about sculpture. Like all his sculpture and sculptural seating, the Pebble Seat is inspired by growing up in, living in, working in, raising a family in, this beautiful county of Cornwall at the tip of the United Kingdom. Cornwall is blessed with a dramatic coast line, beautiful beaches, a sea which ranges in shade from deep turquoise to stormy grey, bright sunshine-filled days and just as many days where the clouds gather, and the mizzle never seems to stop. It’s a place where nature is a powerful part of everyday life, and for Ben, his sculpture is a response to living surrounded by it, and often in it. All his work invites interaction, but the Pebble Seat most of all.
Anybody who has ever spent time on a beach will have picked up a pebble and rolled it between their fingers, skimmed it over the water, dropped it in a pool. The smoothness of the stone, washed over and over by the movement of the ocean, sits softly in your hand. The Barrell Pebble Seats have that same smoothness, polished and polished until they gleam, and until they look and feel like natural stone.
The concrete mix has been developed by Ben over years of working with the material. He loves concrete because it works in a way that complements his style as a sculptor. If you look at his work, whether monumental sculpture, or his elegant small bronzes, or the sculptural seating, his shapes and forms are fluid and dynamic. His intent is to capture the movements and energy of nature in a moment of stillness. Concrete, which changes in form from fluid to solid, is an ideal medium for his work.
Not all concrete is created equal. The components vary in strength and beauty, and that will affect how hard it will set, how long it will endure, and most important in this context, how well it responds to polishing. Cornwall is famous for its granite and the aggregate used in the Barrell Pebble Seats comes from the granite quarries close to the workshop and studio. It’s 80% recycled, which is an extra bonus, and when it’s polished it gleams and glints as the granite is revealed.
Barrell Pebble Seats have been specified on high end commercial developments and for private gardens alike. Whether we are sending out 20 as part of a large landscape scheme or one as a focal point in a precious private garden, all the Pebble Seats are hand cast, hand finished, and signed off by Ben personally before they leave the yard.
Each one is a work of art, but, (and the clue is in the name) also a seat. The large Pebble Seats are all at a sensible height for an adult to sit on. They are very heavy, so they don’t need additional fixing, and will rest quite happily on most surfaces. The smaller Pebble Seats are ideal for children, so they are often grouped together in compatible sizes.
This group pictured here is a large, a medium, and an extra small Pico overlooking the sea. A Pebble Seat by its nature pays homage to the sea, and a Barrell original sculptural Pebble Seat in spirit and in material carries a little bit of Cornwall with it wherever in the world it goes.