Chelsea Flower Show Press Reminder: Join Sculptor David Harber on Stand MA4 as he Celebrates 20 Years as a Designer

Press are warmly invited to join sculptor and sundial-maker David Harber for a glass of champagne from 11am on press day, Monday 21 May at Stand MA4 as he celebrates 20 years as a designer.


Full press release below

Acclaimed Sculptor and Sundial-maker David Harber Celebrates 20th Anniversary with New Works at RHS Chelsea

  • Join us for a celebratory drink from 11am at the David Harber Stand (MA4) on press day, Monday 21 May
  • Commemorative 20th anniversary design to be officially unveiled at Chelsea
  • Works on show to the public for the first time at Chelsea include his first desktop sculpture and a Skylon-inspired design etched with poetry
  • Anniversary events include Eaton Square garden party, June 2012


Press and image library:

Email Kallaway for Chelsea images:

Award-winning British designer David Harber will be showcasing four new works – including a secret design to mark his 20thanniversary working as a sundialist and sculptor, which will be unveiled on press day – at the 2012 RHS Show, Chelsea.

Join us for celebratory Champagne and canapés at the David Harber stand (MA4) on press day, Monday, 21 May, from 11am, during which David will unveil plans for a special piece to be created to mark his 20th anniversary year.

Other new works for 2012, which will all be shown to the public for the first time at the Flower Show, will include The Quill, a soaring work whose shape takes inspiration from the Skylon structure from the 1951 Festival of Britain, and whose surface can be etched with lines of poetry or mottoes; the artist’s first indoor sculptural piece, an elliptical piece with a central beehive-like design - perfect for a console table, desktop, or alcove; and The Crucello, a contemporary variation of the classical three-tiered fountain with which incorporates David’s trademark love of optical illusion. The new works make use of different metals and materials, from oxidised stainless steel to copper verdigris to gold leaf (see end of release for images and further details)

2012 will be the 18th time David has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show. Last year saw his team awarded the Sundries Trophy for the fifth time, having won it previously in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009. 2011 also saw his ‘Mantle’ design – unveiled at the Show – nominated for a new RHS accolade, the Product of the Year Award.

Since selling his first work – a design based on the 2,000 year-old armillary sphere sundial – to actor Jeremy Irons, David has gone on to become one of only a handful of in-demand sundial makers in the UK and a respected outdoor sculptor with an international following. Highlights of a 20-year career include the first public drinking fountain in Hyde Park to be commissioned in 30 years, a ten-metre tower for the entrance to the Millennium Dome, which incorporated five dials from different millennia and cultures, five works for a new development at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, a specially-commissioned sundial for the Queen Mother at Walmer Castle and six bespoke pieces – including a unique Moon Dial - at Oxford University colleges.

His international work includes projects as far afield as Dubai, America and Singapore – and high profile private clients have included Dame Judi Dench, George Michael and the late George Harrison.

Before discovering a love of ancient sundials, David worked as a potter, thatcher and professional mountaineer. For 8 years he sailed the waterways of Europe in a Dutch barge converted into a travelling theatre, winning an accolade from President Mitterand in the process. His first encounter with a sundial was when a friend brought an Armillary Sphere back from a holiday in France; transfixed by the design David spent his last £20 on the materials needed to make the piece. By lucky coincidence actor Jeremy Irons happened to be passing the doorway of his cottage as he was making the work, and bought the dial on the spot for the equivalent of two months’ rent.

Today David works with a team of craftsmen out of his Oxfordshire studio, creating a variety of bespoke works on a human or monumental scale for indoor environments as well as outdoor landscapes. When not pursuing another passion – aviation – he is to be found at the family’s renovated lemon farm in Sicily.

David Harber at Eaton Square – official anniversary celebrations

From June 2012 a group of David’s most iconic works will be installed in Eaton Square’s private Gardens for a three-year period. On 12 June the central garden space will be open and David and his team will be hosting a party to celebrate his 20thanniversary as a designer. All visitors welcome (10am to 5pm, drinks/cream teas).

Press RSVP

General RSVP

The show will also be on public view the previous Sunday (10 June) as part of Open Garden Squares Weekend (

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Press Contacts and images:

For further information on David Harber and for high-resolution images please contact:

Susannah Glynn: 020 7221 7883 /
William Kallaway: 020 7221 7883 /


About David Harber works; Twitter: @DavidHarber
David Harber works are rooted in art, science and ancient ideas. From his Oxfordshire studio David creates beautiful, one-off pieces on a human or monumental scale for indoor environments and outdoor landscapes. Works by David Harber are included in collections around the UK and abroad, from private gardens to corporate headquarters and including colleges at both Oxford and Cambridge and the Al Rawdha Palace, Bahrain. Clients have included Dame Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons and George Michael and his work has been unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Prince Charles. Works by David Harber regularly win awards; in 2011 he was awarded the RHS Sundries Trophy at the Chelsea Flower Show for the fourth time.

Meet David Harber in 2012

Workshop Open Weekend 30 – 31 March

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 22 – 26 May

Open Garden Squares Weekend, exhibition of work at Eaton Square Gardens, 10 June

20thAnniversary Party, Eaton Square Gardens, 12 June (10am – 5pm RSVP as above)

New works to be shown at Chelsea 2012:

David will also be showcasing a special piece created specifically to mark the 20th anniversary year, which will be unveiled on press day, Monday 21 May.

  • The Quill - a soaring work whose tree-like shape also takes inspiration from the Skylon structure from the 1951 Festival of Britain, Standing over 2m tall and formed by welded metal petals in either oxidised corten or antique bronze verdigris and gold leaf, the works can be etched with lines of poetry or a saying which must be searched for by the viewer.
  • David Harber’s first indoor sculptural design – perfect for those looking for a collectable Harber piece. Taking the form of a disk set on its edge, the very centre of the work incorporates steel rods of different sizes lined with reflective metals such as gold. The piece has been created to work especially well on a windowsill - where the sunlight would cause the centre to glow - or on a small plinth outside.
  • The Crucello - a contemporary take on the classical three-tiered water feature. Combining David’s love of optical illusion and accuracy of design this new water feature gives the impression that each of the three disks is suspended above the other by rods of water alone.