Maddison makes a wheel of herbs

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By Mick Jensen

Maddison Gourlay has made and donated an impressive herb wheel for the community garden at St Andrew’s Church in Tinwald.

The Ashburton College Year 13 student elected to make the impressive wood and metal structure as part of her NCEA hard metals project and liaised with church volunteers from the offset.

The project has been designed, modelled and built over the last year and now sits at the back of the church.

The herb wheel contains eight pots that will soon be planted with a variety of culinary herbs for communal use.

As well as using the project for college exam purposes, Maddison has also used it to satisfy the community service element of her Queen Scout medal, which she is now close to finishing.

She has enjoyed an association with St Andrew’s since 2013 and been involved with metal work at school since Year 9.

“I decided it would be good to give back something to the church, so sat down with Pam and Vic Cleverley and Rev. Joan Clark and presented six pages of design sketches and ideas and things developed from there.”

The practicalities of the wheel design, including how it would spin, were tested with modelling, before the build process began.

Maddison used a 3D cutter, welded, rolled bars, drilled and used a turning lathe to craft her bespoke piece.

“There were challenging aspects to it, but I enjoyed making it. If I made another, I’d do it much quicker the second time around, that’s for sure.”

The wheel will be painted shortly to protect it from the elements and a painted stone will be laid at its base with the name of its creator.

Maddison Gourlay intends to study English at Canterbury next year, but hasn’t ruled out future engineering projects.