The House of Invisible Hands / Forest Glasshouse

The House of Invisible Hands

(Formerly Forest Glasshouse)

By Walter Bailey

The House of Invisible Hands is a shrine to those whose labours shaped the landscape of Surrey in the making of forest glass during mediaeval times. This practise involved working within the forest using the raw materials of the landscape to keep the furnaces going. The impurities in the materials created the green of the resulting glass objects.

During his research sculptor Walter Bailey became interested in the social aspect of the practice. The glass was made by skilled artisans from Europe and local peasants. Young children often worked long hours stoking the furnaces. This hand carved oak structure is sited at a view point on Farnham Heath as a shelter and rest point for walkers to experience this artwork from outside and within. It presents the many hands that laboured within local forests centuries ago.

Walter also engaged local people to create a mass artwork based on these themes called KINdling. This is temporarily in place beside The House of Invisible Hands until the end of September.

The House of Invisible Hands can be found at the viewpoint in the woodland at Farnham Heath.

With thanks for additional support from:

Walter Bailey

Walter Bailey has works in private and corporate collections in the UK, USA, Guernsey, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Japan, and Australia. He works predominantly in Oak and English Redwood, carving intricate patterns using hand tools, chainsaws and fire. A lover of nature, Bailey works in an outdoor studio with an abundance of nature around him.