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Angela Two Stars’ Ockiyapi at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Ockiyapi by Angela Two Stars at The Walker Art Center

Ockiyapi – Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, The Walker Art Center

 

Solus Decor was very pleased to be incorporated into the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and proud to be a part of Ockiyapi, a thought provoking sculpture representing the beauty of Dakota culture. 

Okciyapi (pronounced OH-key-YUP-ee) was designed and inspired by the talented Angela Two Stars. The Native American artist and member of Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, completed the commission and unveiled it to the public in the Fall of 2021. 

 

Ockiyapi at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden

 

Previously, the site was occupied by the sculpture “Scaffold”. However, this piece was deemed insensitive as it trivialized a significant and traumatizing part of Dakota history. Originally conceived as a commentary on capital punishment, Scaffold depicted the gallows that were the site of the largest mass execution in US history in which 38 Dakota men were hanged following the Dakota-US war in 1862. Ultimately, the presence of this sculpture and its tactless concept made the sculpture garden an unwelcoming space to the Dakota people.

The project, consisting of seven sections of custom-cast concrete seating, gracefully encircles the Solus domed water feature to resemble the ripples a drop makes. These seven sections represent the Oceti Sakawin – People of the Seven Council Fires, or The Great Sioux Nation, each inscribed with Dakota value words. In an effort to encourage further interaction, visitors can use their phones to immerse themselves in the stories of tribal elders in English and Dakota, fostering a deeper connection to the culture. 

Ockiyapi’s Inspiration

 

Inspired by the artist’s grandfather, Orsen Bernard, a noted scholar and teacher of the Dakota language, Two Stars imbued Okciyapi with profound symbolism. The integration of Dakota words and phrases not only honors the culture, but underscores the importance of the language’s revitalization. Moreover, it displays how Two Stars intended Okciyapi as a metaphor for her grandfather’s teaching of the language throughout the community. 

 

Ockiyapi at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden
The Artist, Angela Two Stars

 

Every element of the sculpture serves to weave together the fabric of Dakota tradition and identity, foraging a bond between land, water and language. For instance, the central water bowl is a reminder that the name Minnesota derives from the Dakota phrase; Mni Sota Makoce (the land where the water reflects the clouds). Just as the bowl’s gleaming metal disk and the water that runs over its surface allow us to reflect upon this thought. Even the gravel around the structure serves to absorb light during the day and glow blue in the dark to resemble a surrounding pool of water. Furthermore, the surrounding landscape adorned with medicinal plants such as prairie dropseed and sage, evokes a sense of healing and renewal that mirrors the Dakota language as a form of medicine, healing those that enter the space.

Okciyapi stands not only as a testament to Angela Two Stars’ remarkable talent and vision but also as a site of progress in the heart of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Through her profound understanding of her Dakota culture and commitment to honoring its traditions, Two Stars has transformed a painful chapter of history into a space of beauty, reflection, and unity. Okciyapi invites visitors to engage with the Dakota language, to immerse themselves in its stories, and to connect with the land in a deeply meaningful way. In its design and symbolism, Okciyapi serves as a reminder of the resilience of indigenous communities and the power of art to inspire dialogue and understanding.

 

References:

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Feature Designer: Take Root Gardens

water dome take root gardens

Take Root Gardens is an award-winning garden design and build firm based in Vancouver.

Take Root specialises in creating residential garden spaces that meet their client’s need both functionally and aesthetically. The focus for Take Root Gardens is naturalized gardens; combining lush planting with natural stone, wood and concrete elements that complement their clients’ homes. They are a small company that allows them to have a keen attention to detail during design and installation that has earned them a fantastic reputation.

 

Water Dome
After

 

Take Root Gardens
Before

 

Project :

The client reached out to Take Root Gardens to help with an under-utilized front garden at their home in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver. The area was overgrown shrubs with a small plot of grass and the client wanted a more functional space that was visually more in keeping with the clean lines of the architecture of their home. The intention was to create a contemporary landscape, combining a patio space for entertaining with a low maintenance naturalized plant palette with an emphasis on texture and bold foliage.

Low maintenance was high on the client’s list of priorities, so plants were selected specifically with this in mind. Large format boulders were craned in to the site to provide contrast to the planting and to give year-round interest to the space. Take Root have incorporated a Solus water dome adding the concrete element to the naturalized garden. The water feature is not directly visible on entry to the property, but it can be heard giving an added calmness to the space. The additional benefit of the water feature is that it masks the city noise and the sound of water can be heard in other areas of the property.

 

Water Dome
After

 

The Water Dome is part of our water feature range, made from high performance concrete and is available in our full range of colours with a brass or stainless-steel dome. The water dome is self-circulating with no plumbing required, simply plug and play. The self-circulating element gives greater flexibility, and it can be installed both indoors and outdoors.

Project Materials:

Water Dome: Solus Decor

Manhattan Paving Slabs: New Stone Group

Basalt boulders: locally sourced

Stone and Concrete supplies: Northwest Landscape Supply

Lighting: Kichler

 

Water Dome

 

The result of this garden overhaul is transformational and has created a truly usable space that the clients can enjoy for years to come with family and friends. The design compliments the architecture of the home perfectly giving additional wow factor as you arrive at the property.

To find out more about Take Root Gardens and their projects get in touch via their website or instagram.

 

 

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Chelsea Flower Show 2022

solus at chelsea flower show 2022

Last week saw the return of the Chelsea Flower Show  in its traditional place in the month of May and Chelsea Flower Show 2022 did not disappoint. Guest were met with an array of colours, beautiful blooms, complex planting and well considered garden design as they entered the gates in Chelsea.

 

This year saw the first collaboration between Solus Decor and Cedar Nursery. As we marked the second anniversary of our first UK showroom at Cedar Nursery it seemed fitting to show how the two brands fit together to provide the ultimate location for planning and sourcing for outdoor living.

This year at Chelsea Flower show also saw the debut of the new Water Box, the latest addition to our product range.  The Water Box is a fresh take on the water dome; still self circulating, still plug and play just a different shape. It was fantastic to see the reception to the new design and we look forward to adding this to our outdoor living  showroom.

 

 

water box

The water box wasn’t the only water feature getting the attention at Chelsea Flower Show. We were fortunate to have been asked to be a part of the Mandala, Meditation & Mindfulness Garden designed by Nikki Hollier, who incorporated a Solus water dome to provide the calming sound of water within this garden design.

Nikki created a fantastic space to escape to as a way to relax and unwind, which was inspired by the events of the last two years and the judges though so too. We were thrilled that Nikki was awarded silver for her container garden design. To find our more about Nikki and her clever packages to help you get the most out of your garden planting take a look at her website.

We will be posting some of our highlights from the show on Instagram and Facebook over the coming weeks.

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Delivery Times and Stock Availability in 2021

outdoor living spae

The last year has been unprecedented for any company on the outdoor world and like so many other businesses this has impacted Solus in many ways.  As we move into the summer, we wanted to take the opportunity to update you on a few changes and how this impacts you as the client when ordering.

 

Hemi fire pit
26″ Hemi fire pit

 

Solus designs, manufactures and ships all our products from our workshop in Vancouver, Canada where the business was originally founded. As we continue to ship our products to the UK, we can’t deny that the impact of both the pandemic and Brexit has had an effect on our lead times combined with a growing demand for outdoor living products in the UK.

outdoor living spae

 

As a business we have hired multiple new staff and are currently running  seven days week to cope with the high number of orders. However, we are still impacted by increased shipping times.  We know this is frustrating as a client so we are doing are best to provide as much information as possible to help you plan your garden projects and ensure you can place orders ready for the next shipment.

solus hemi fire pit

To assist you we have updated the website to include details of items currently in stock in the UK and items available in our next shipment arriving in August and available for immediate sale.  Should the item you are looking for not be in stock or available in the August shipment get in touch with us now to ensure you secure delivery in October. Should you require faster delivery please contact us to discuss air freight options which we are able to facilitate.

 

Don’t miss out, take a look at our current stock page and get in touch to make the most of your outdoor space!

 

 

 

 

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2021

solus decor pantone 2021

Pantone have announced the colour of the year for 2021 and we couldn’t think of a better combination of the soft grey of Ultimate Gray and sunshine yellow of Illuminating. The combination of these Pantone colours is ideal for an outdoor space as we move into the New Year!

 

 

We’ve put together a little inspiration to show how you can combine these colours in your own outdoor spaces together with our fire and water products. We have a wonderful range of colours for all our fire and water features and we think that Nori is a great match to Ultimate gray.

solus decor pantone 2021

Shop this look and add a little sunshine to your own outdoor space

If you’re looking for a little place to relax and unwind with the calming sound of water why not combine these Pantone colours with a Solus water dome.  The perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee while you sit at this charming bistro table set.

 

Solus decor pantone moodboard

Shop this look and add a little sunshine to your own outdoor space

We’re all looking forward to 2021 and a fresh start after a difficult year.  Get in touch with us to help you add a little bit of wow to your outdoor space and start the New Year with a little ray of sunshine.

 

 

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How to create your outdoor living space this winter

solus hemi fire pit

The last year has made us all acutely aware of the importance of outdoor space in both commercial and residential spaces. As we approach the winter months we need to create real outdoor spaces with heating and protection from wind and rain.

 

We’ve put together a  guide on how you can create the perfect outdoor living spaces to get you through the winter months.  We’ve taken inspiration from our outdoor living space created for Chelsea Flower show in 2019.   Whilst we were lucky with the weather last year, this is not guaranteed so any design needs to allow for protection from the rain. We’ve put together a shopping list for you to create this space at home this winter.

The Quick Fix

A combination of high street finds with quick delivery combined with the our sustainable and durable fire pits.

outdoor living spae

 

  1. outdoor shelter, Jackson Fencing £1207.80  
  2. Artificial single boxwood tree, Blooming Artificial  £92
  3. Square concrete planter, Getspotted.com £30.99

 

  1. Patterned cushion cover, H&M £6.99 
  2. Murphy Bench, Wayfair £191.99
  3. Green linen cushion cover, H&M £8.99

 

  1. 36″ Hemi fire pit with LPG fuel, £4,074 inclusive of VAT
  2. Fire Table with LPG Fuel, £5,034 inclusive of VAT
  3. 36″ Water Dome, £3,354 inclusive of VAT

 

The Big Investment

This is a luxury space at Cedar Nursery that has dining and relaxing all in one space with the all important protection from wind and rain. This space includes investment pieces for outdoor living for the future, a bigger price tag with longer lead times but made to last just like our fire and water features.

 

solus hemi fire pit

 

  1. Edge stackable dining chair, Cane Line £460
  2. Bio Sun Terrace and Patio Cover, Cedar Nursery from £7,325
  3. Drop Dining Table, Cane Line £2,750

 

  1. Flex Modular Sofa, Cane Line from £2,325
  2. 36″ Hemi fire Pit with LPG fuel £4,074 inclusive of VAT
  3. 90 cm Fiberglass pot, Primrose £171.99

 

Get in touch with us to create your own outdoor living space this winter

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Virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020

Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

This year RHS Chelsea Flower Show goes virtual as the rest of the world has in light of the current health crisis.  We’re taking the opportunity to reflect on our last four years of exhibiting at Chelsea Flower Show and looking back at some of our favourite show gardens.

 

2016

2016 marked our debut at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show and we embarked on a collaboration with award winning designer; Jack Dunkley who designed a fantastic garden featuring a selection of our our fire and water products.  A selection of palms, lavender and ferns set against a white backdrop giving a mediterranean feel to the space enhanced by the sunshine that we were blessed with during the week.

 

 

Speaking to Brad Carpenter, CEO of Solus about the highlights of 2016, he recalls the fantastic field of poppies; a breathtaking display of thousands of handmade poppies adorned the vista from the showground to the Royal Hospital. This combined with the sheer scale of the flower show and the work undertaken by those building the show gardens was inspiring.

 

2017

Solus make their second appearance at Chelsea Flower Show. An independent trade stand, working with outdoor living brands that compliment the Solus Decor brand and ethos. We worked with Greenmatters UK to create this fantastic green wall as the backdrop to our scupper waterfall, which was a huge talking point and many clients asking about how they could create the same design at home. We added this with an engineered decking from Silvadec, which provided a great anti slip flooring for our stand. All of this was built and installed by the fantastic TKE Landscaping.

 

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

We took great inspiration from the best fresh garden winner; Kate Gould with this urban inspired garden. Showing how you can incorporate green spaces within the city and allow you to make the most of the outdoors.

2018

A more contemporary look from Solus this year with striking dark panels from Screen with Envy, the launch of our metal table top and drinks ring, celebrity visits to the stand and beautiful sunshine throughout the week and the start of a sensational summer.

 

Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Looking at the show garden highlights from 2018, our team couldn’t help but celebrate the gold award winning feat of the Yorkshire garden featured in 2018.  The end result was incredible but having seen the build from start to finish, Brad recalls this – “It was herculean and I went by a number of times and marvelled, there were guys standing up to their knees in muck, digging away – it was incredible. ”

2019

2019 marked the debut of our first combined fire and water feature at Chelsea Flower Show; The Pacific Rim and what a highlight it was for all of us. The Pacific Rim was a huge hit! We were blessed with beautiful weather and we met fantastic people throughout the week.

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

 

We asked Lisa from Solus Decor what her highlights were having been part of the show experience since 2017.  Lisa described the  D Day 75 garden, by John Everiss as a stand out. It delivered on all levels and was extremely emotive.

Another favourite of Lisa’s was The Silent Pool Garden. Lisa says ” I love the planting, water element, copper swing chair plus the gin!”

We’ll miss seeing you on the stand but we’re excited to share in virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020. We’d love to hear from you if your feeling inspired and looking to make the most of your outdoor space.

 

 

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Sustainability with Solus

Pacific Rim

A look at the growth for sustainability in garden design and garden products and how Solus Decor are working to ensure that this a clear focus in their products and business.

 

You couldn’t escape the desire for sustainability and more eco conscious gardens in the Society of Garden Designer style predictions for 2020; recycling and repurposing items,  planting for wildlife, edible flowers and romantic vegetable plots all featured in the 2020 design trends.  This comes as no surprise as climate change and sustainability is now part of every day discussion and we are all approaching lifestyle and design with a greater emphasis on the need for sustainability in all aspects of our lives.

We have been steadily improving our sustainability in both our products and the company as a whole as we recognise how important this is as an international business and this starts at the very core of the business and the products we create.  We believe that sustainability and durability go hand in hand so we create products designed to last a lifetime to counteract the throwaway culture that has become an increasing problem in today’s society.

We recognise that in the world of building products there is no such thing as a totally “sustainable” material. Rather, we can use materials in ways that provide for the best opportunity for sustainable use. We design our concrete and our products with this goal in mind.

Sustainability at Solus:

Recycling

  • Wood is recycled into wood pellets for high-efficiency stoves
  • Containers are recycled into various consumer products
  • Paper and cardboard are recycled
  • Rejected concrete is crushed and used as aggregate and fill
  • Wash water is filtered,  treated and then reused

Power

Our manufacturing is largely human powered. Concrete is cured at ambient temperatures with no superheating required

Indoor Air Quality

When cured, our concrete off-gases nothing more than trace amounts of water

Local Materials

We utilize largely locally sourced and manufactured materials.

Embodied Energy

When initial and recurring embodied energy are considered together, (i.e. the overall energy to produce and maintain our products) our concrete performs better than most other materials in comparable use according to Canadian Architect.

Office Materials

Wherever possible we use recycled, reusable and refillable office products.

 

Solus worker smooths fire pit

Sustainable Solus Products

Water Features: Traditionally any water feature is another way of wasting water as they require a constant water supply.  However the Scupper, Water Dome and new Pacific Rim is the exception to this, all our water products are self circulating  and simply require a power supply to allow the small amount of water to circulate and provide the tranquil sound of flowing water.

 

Fire Pits: We offer a variety of fuels for our concrete fire pits; natural gas, LPG and bio fuel. Our gas fire pits provide a more energy efficient alternative to a wood fire pit.  They provide a clean flame, that is quick to light, efficient and designed to last as gas burns more cleanly and produces fewer emissions into the atmosphere. The use of gas also eliminates the release of fine particles caused by wood smoke that can cause respiratory issues and prolonged exposure can cause long term health issues. For those looking to avoid gas completely we also offer a bio fuel option eliminating the need for any gas supply but still providing the same warmth and ambiance provided by the gas fire pits with the ultimate in flexibility within your outdoor space.

As we continue to design and produce our signature concrete products, sustainability and durability remains at the forefront of the process and we continue to evolve our processes throughout all aspects of the business.  Get in touch with us to find out more about our products and approach to sustainability.

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Relaxation with Water

solus water dome in spa

Studies have shown that being near water and the sound of water can positively impact on your overall happiness, mental health, productivity and self-awareness. Given this it’s no surprise that spas and retreats are using our water features to help guests to relax and unwind as soon as they arrive.

The new Anda Spa at Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis have created the ultimate space for relaxation with their newly renovated spa with the introduction of the relaxing sound of water at the reception. The Hotel Ivy have incorporated our Water Dome water feature at the reception desk of the spa. The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature and simply requires an electrical point making it ideal for a commercial setting.

solus water dome in spa
Hotel Ivy Minneapolis, a Luxury Collection property, with the newly renovated luxury Anda Spa.

 

The philosophy of the Anda Spa is rooted in balance and for all of us living the faced paced life of today we all need to seek out balance. Taking time out at of your busy schedule for a chance to relax and unwind at a spa can help you find the crucial  balance in your life. At the Anda Spa they focus on a deeper sense of well-being, allowing you to reconnect your body, mind and spirit. Personalised spa treatments and rituals are inspired by a sense of vitality which offers you a calmer, more balanced, perspective on life.

Relaxation with Water

These water bowls feature polished metal domes that appear to float inside concrete vessels. Water flows up through the center of each dome to run over the reflective surface of the hand-spun metal and then drop off the edges into the surrounding water creating sound. Like our concrete pieces, each metal dome is handmade and unique. The Water Dome is available in a choice of three sizes, twelve different colours and a choice of stainless steel or brass for the dome.

water Dome
Water Dome in Cinder

 

If you would like an add an element of relaxation with water to your commercial or residential space get in touch with us to find out more about our range of water features.

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Solus Decor collaborate with Border in a Box at Gardeners’ World Live

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live

Solus Decor have collaborated with Border in a Box to create a sensory garden for BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

Solus Decor worked with Border in a Box to provide the water element of the sensory border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live entitled the Jar of Life.  The border had a focus on wellbeing using sensory plants with inviting scents, taste, touch and feel. Border in a Box incorporated the Solus Decor water feature as part of the design to contribute to the feeling of calm and wellbeing in this sensory space.

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome pictured in the garden created by Border in a Box at BBC Gardener’s World Live with a backdrop of screens by Screen with Envy

 

This inviting space created by Border in a Box proved to be a big success at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, winning a platinum award from the judging panel.

 

What is Border in a Box?

Not familiar with Border in a Box?

Border in a Box provide garden border template kits to enable anyone who is new to gardening or time poor the confidence to buy the right plants and know where to put them. Border in a Box allows you to achieve a beautiful border easily in less than a day.

To celebrate the border created for Gardeners’ World Live they have launched the new wellbeing border.

 

 

Solus Water Dome

The Solus Decor water features are made from high performance concrete. They are designed to withstand all the elements whether indoors or outdoors.

The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature making it both simple to install and environmentally friendly due to the recirculating water.

The soothing and relaxing qualities of water are well known. Water evokes the idea of wellbeing and self care that are so important in today’s fast paced lifestyle.

 

Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener’s World Live

To find out more about Border in a Box at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, why not have take a look at the feature on the BBC presented by garden designer Mark Lane.

To find out more about Solus Decor water features get in touch.

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Solus at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Launch New Modern Accessory for the Outdoor Gas Firepit.

Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 exhibiting fire pits, fire bowls, water features and accessories in London, England

We are looking forward to once again showcasing our fantastic garden terrace fire pits as we preview what else is in store for visitors at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London.

This year Solus Decor are excited to launch a new accessory for the Hemi fire bowl. The metal table top  can convert into a drinks ring for the 36 and 48 Hemi fire pit and hence adds a new dimension to the use of this contemporary and sculptural firepit. A simple disk table top is also available for the 26 Hemi. They are constructed out of noncorrosive aluminum and stainless steel. Therefore they are perfect for social gatherings in residential or commercial settings.

Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.
Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.

Chelsea is at the forefront of the shows for the garden industry. This year is no exception and we are excited to see the CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen. Naomi is working with HIV partnership CHERUB to help raise awareness about young people living with HIV in the UK and beyond. Featuring a Solus Water Dome, Naomi has designed a space that could be recreated within a home garden context. The garden uses specialist planting and design to take visitors on a powerful symbolic journey helping to promote acceptance and understanding about the condition.

Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.
Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.

Another must-see garden will be The Myeloma UK Garden, designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell. It will highlight the work of Myeloma UK. A bold 7 tonne, 12 feet high sculpture will rise from the garden as its centrepiece and as a result, promises to be unique and contemporary.

Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.
Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.

On the Solus Decor stand on Pavilion Way PW/608, we will of course be displaying and demonstrating a selection of our best-selling fire pits and water features.

Next to us will be Chilstone on stand PW/607. This year Chilstone are proudly celebrating 65 years of handmaking cast stone in Britain and always have a fabulous display.

If you are visiting this year, please come and see both stands. We look forward to meeting you.

Contact us for more information on Solus products. Or visit our website: www.solusdecor.co.uk. Made in Vancouver, Canada. Shipped worldwide.

For more information on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show visit: www.rhs.org.uk