The obelisk stands under trees on the corner of a square in the small town of Rinteln in Lower Saxony.
A phoenix rises from the crest of Rinteln Town. It is 24 carat gold on aluminium (paid for by the school). Made to be carried in hand luggage on the plane!
The ceramic surface is made up of relief crests and shallow tiles which are all made by pupils and staff of the school.
Stadt Rinteln Crest
The crest of the small medieval town by the river Weser.
The obelisk (under the trees) was partly inspired by the spires and beautiful stone work of the old town’s churches.
With four sides the obelisk is made up of several hundred hand made pieces.
From the ashes
The school crest includes a Phoenix and has the motto ‘Sapienta ex Igne’ (Wisdom from the flames).
Pupils and staff modelled their own clay crest designs which represented elements of their lives in Germany and their home countries.
Colonel David Kelly gave a speech at the unveiling of the sculpture.
Every pupil in the school designed their own crest. A smaller group then worked on modelling their in clay.
There was a pride and recognition of heraldic symbols amongst the soldiers’ children.
The scale of the sculpture meant we also needed a lot of tiles to fit around the crests.
It was a laborious process of cutting and fitting decorated tiles around the crests before firing and glazing.
Pupils carved lettering and dates that recorded the history of the school.
Piecing the tiles around some fired crests.
After the initial install there were several busy days grouting and fitting the last few pieces together. Many thanks to all the staff who helped out.
The opening coincided with the closing of the school.
The deputy mayor attended the opening and took a great interest in the genesis of the piece.
The sculpture with the church spire in the background.