It is all about those details; it is all about sleeping on things, drawing things; going back and having a look. So yes, I’ve done quite a lot of the designs myself, or influenced some of the designs myself. And had curators scratching their heads over things with me, deciding what to do.
From the lanterns outside the Bookshop and the Visitor Centre – which Emma [Project Curator, Emma Slocombe] took a picture of outside someone’s house which she’d seen and I turned it into a scaled version of it – which then went off with Richard Hill [IbK Senior Project Manager] to his blacksmith in Norfolk to be made; to re-creating the silver carriage lamp in the Outer Wicket, outside the Porter’s Lodge.
Interviewer: Yes, that suddenly appeared out of the blue, Robin.
RM: It’s taken three years to build – which is a look-and-feel copy of the original one which is now in Robert Sackville-West’s hallway.
Interviewer: not on the [Sackville] carriage which is in the Carriage Museum?
RM: Well, there may be one there. But there’s only one in his hallway. No, I don’t think there were ever carriage lamps there. They’re too ornate. I mean, his is silver-silver; ours is silver-plated.
Interviewer: But it’s very shiny.
RM: It is very shiny. It needs dulling down in a way; it needs the weather on a bit, to kind of soften it. But it’s a good, as you say, it has the feeling of the same size and dimensions, and length. The detailing is too expensive for us to have afforded it. It’s quite expensive enough as it was. So, I drew that up and passed that in front of everybody and got the detailing right and discussed it with the manufacturers. So that’s come out rather well.
I designed the two lights which are in the Brown Gallery lobby and the Prayer Closet at the end of the Brown Gallery [leading to the Ballroom]. Those two new lights there – brass – again were my interpretation of Emma’s thoughts on the kind of thing that perhaps ought to be there. Because there no lights there in those two spaces.