Work is continuing well on site.
All the stones for the apse vault have now been cut and are ready to erect. This took a bit longer than planned with several meetings at the stone yard as we tried to twist our brains around how to cut the complex shapes. The trickiest are where an arched window cuts into the half dome with a springing line above that of the vault. After putting all our brains together the stones are now cut and looking good.
The bell has also now been cast and is on site ready to be erected in the bellcote and we have also been looking beyond the masonry to the finishing elements.
Having searched high and low for suitable ironmongery, I came to the conclusion that nothing was quite right for this carefully crafted building. The door handle is a very important part of a building – it is the first thing you touch on the threshold as you enter the building – and so I decided that custom designed handles in cast bronze were required. The back plates are based on the geometry of St. John’s cross on Iona and the drop ring handles echo the shape of an ancient Celtic torc – reflecting the story of St. Comghan, the Irish priest become Scottish monk. These will be produced by the skilled craftsmen at Black Isle Bronze and will be mounted on a double boarded oak door.
We have also been working in collaboration with the team at Simpson and Brown on the furniture. Short benches can face the front for a traditional style of service or can be placed against the wall in a more monastic style with the service led from the choir stalls at the back facing the altar down the main axis. The zoning of the space is based on the golden rectangle geometry of the nave and this is also displayed in the flooring layout.
The next update should show a lot of progress as erecting the materials now on site will be a relatively quick process.