The Fountain Workshop is a team of dedicated designers, artists and engineers. We share a passion for water, and a fascination for how it can enhance, and in many cases completely change an environment. From a beautiful studio and workshop in the historic dockyard of Chatham in Kent, we develop new and exciting ways to work with water.
We have developed a fresh and innovative approach to water feature design and construction by exploring the interface and blurring the boundaries between aesthetics, design and engineering.
Our central concern is excellence, in both design and execution. We achieve this through close collaboration and open, honest dialogue with our clients, fellow designers and with other specialists.
The Fountain Workshop was formed in 1996 by David Bracey and Ian Kirkpatrick. The pair have been working with water features, and with each other, for over 30 years. Today they lead a team of talented, creative and dedicated engineers, designers and technicians - all of them passionate about water and the qualities it brings.
Lloyd is one of our Design draughtspeople who joined us in 2016 after an extensive search for somebody with a proven success within the complex field of building services coordination. Bringing with him 30 years of experience and the ability to work as a key member of a project team, Lloyd was the perfect man for the job. He now works closely with our engineers, ensuring that their vision is both feasible and meets our standards.
Outside of work, Lloyd is an active member of a cycling club, a hobby that has that has taken him abroad and sees him cycle at least 60 miles every Sunday.
Simon is a Fountain Installer. He works primarily on our north of England projects with Paul Stafford.
In 2008, he installed the award-winning installation in Copenhagen for Nykredit – the Sky and Krystal. Simon first joined us in 1999, but has taken various breaks over the years to concentrate on his theatrical interests. Simon rejoined us full-time in 2015.
Outside work, Simon is a talented musician. He has also written and produced several musical theatre productions. Simon has been involved with pantomime for years but that is now mainly behind him. Oh no it isn’t. Oh yes it is!!
Mary is our Office Manager. She keeps us running smoothly and is responsible for all aspects of administration and accounts, including payroll. Mary also plays a vital role assisting the directors with strategic decisions and implementing company policy.
Mary’s background is in financial services. She spent seven years at a chartered accounting firm where she qualified as an accounting technician. A stint in Germany was followed by a role as an Account Manager with a design company. From there, she joined The Fountain Workshop and has been with us since 2002.
When we’re not keeping her busy, Mary is now enjoying the freedom of having two grown up, independent children. She’s interested in the arts and gets to the theatre whenever she can.
David is Managing Director of The Fountain Workshop. He co-founded the company together with Ian Kirkpatrick.
The pair met in 1984 at fountain company, Ustigate. From there they joined Invent Water Treatment, where they set up a successful water features division. Driven by a desire for excellence, the natural next step was their own company, and in 1996 they founded The Fountain Workshop Ltd.
Together, Ian and David have nurtured and grown the business into the respected and successful company it is today.
David’s engineering background has provided a solid platform upon which the company has grown. In 20 years of The Fountain Workshop, David has delivered projects across the globe – from Copenhagen to the Middle East. His highlights are closer to home, and include the world’s tallest gravity-fed fountain at Stanway House and the hugely popular water feature at Granary Square in King’s Cross.
Outside work and family, David’s passion is for music, cricket and what he calls “a worrying interest” in classic and vintage cars.
As one of the newer members of our team, Madeleine’s job is to make sure we keep up to date with the fast pace of business in the modern day. She ensures that we have a relevant and constant social media presence, while also updating our website with any news. As a company, we have recognised that this form of marketing is a vital way of reaching previous, current, and new clients in the modern age. As such, we brought Madeleine on as our formal Marketing and Press Officer so that we can ensure our clients keep up to date with our progress. Here at The Fountain Workshop, we are always excited to see the company expand in new directions and we want our clients to know what we are up to. Madeleine is the one who is charged with getting that message out and making sure that we communicate our progress successfully.
In her spare time, Madeleine is a keen musical theatre enthusiast, something which she both enjoys watching and participating in. She may not be much help in the workshop just yet but she is proud to say she can recite all the words to Les Mis from memory!
Andy is our Design Engineer. One of the key aspects of seeing a project move successfully from concept to completion is effective design – and Andy is instrumental in this. He is involved in overall design development as well as the detailed designing of hydraulic and mechanical components.
Andy joined us from Airbus where he worked on finding engineering solutions for fast turnaround repairs. This also mean he can also list space craft and missile launch systems in his project portfolio. In more recent times, Andy has become the first of our engineering team to progress from 2D to 3D drawing, using the Revit and Inventor 3D applications.
In the years Andy has been with us, he has become father to three children. He loves to get out and about with his wife and kids – a ramble on the North Downs being a favourite activity.
Sarah oversees the day-to-day running of our maintenance company.
Sarah joined us as an Office Junior in 2007. She soon discovered a passion for accounts and went on to gain her AAT Accounting Qualification. Since then, her role has developed and she now manages the maintenance element of our projects.
As well as keeping our water features looking their best, she assists with accounts and office administration, and is usually the first point of contact for clients and visitors.
In her spare time, Sarah likes to walk her beautiful border collie Bella and spend time with her daughter and young twins.
Mel is our artist and is responsible for art direction at The Fountain Workshop. He is also a practising fine artist.
Mel has an honours degree in Fine Art, and spent 25 years lecturing in the Department of Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. During this time, he worked and exhibited extensively throughout the UK and abroad. He is a Turner Prize nominee and has also been awarded the BCSC Gold Award for Manchester Airport and the RIBA Award for the Sky Bar, also in Manchester.
In his creative partnership with The Fountain Workshop, Mel explores the ways in which water can enrich and humanise the built environment.
He works closely with our team, not just at the conceptual design stage, but also during planning and construction – ensuring that the design vision comes to fruition.
Ben is Project Director of The Fountain Workshop. He was our first employee, joining us fresh from Durham University in 1996. He is instrumental in every project completed at The Fountain Workshop – planning and managing each commission and making sure they come in on time and budget.
He also has the lead development role for our web-based fountain control system and works with our artist, Mel Chantrey, on our fountain display sequences. In fact, there’s not much Ben isn’t involved in – health and safety, IT, electrical diagnostics, as well as backup and advice for the maintenance department and design team.
Ben studied physics, specialising in astronomy, astrophysics and yes, rocket science. His science background sharpened his analytical skills and gave him an amazing attention to detail – something that he brings to every project.
Outside work, Ben has recently completed an epic 927.8km swim challenge (37,110 lengths of his local pool… equivalent to the distance from Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands!). Drier pursuits include biking, hiking and music – he has over 50 song writing credits to his name although he’s given up gigging for his Hawaiian ukulele.
Ian heads up our Electrical Engineering department. He is involved in all projects that have a design and build element and he designs every piece of control gear and telemetry used in our water features.
Ian’s journey to The Fountain Workshop was anything but straightforward. A long career with the Ministry of Defence saw him working in many different countries and industries. From there he set up in private practice as an electrical controls designer and manufacturer. By happy coincidence, we ended up sharing workspace with Ian. We soon became his most important client, and it was only a matter of time before he came on board.
Weekends are spent fixing up his house. When not busy with that, he and his wife love the theatre and the great outdoors and he’s not averse to finishing up a walk with a pie and a pint in his local pub.
Ian is Commercial Director of The Fountain Workshop. He co-founded the company with his long-standing colleague David Bracey back in 1996. The two share a passion for water and a fascination for how it can completely transform a place. Together they have nurtured and grown the business into the successful and respected company it is today.
Over the years, Ian has delivered hundreds of water features. Bradford City Park stands out as a major achievement – for the transformative effect the project has had on the City of Bradford. His background in fine art means he especially enjoys commissions where he gets the chance to work alongside sculptors and artists.
As well as being the first point of contact for new enquiries and leading new contract negotiations, Ian oversees the company’s administration and financial management. He is particularly proud of the team and of the long-term relationships the company develops with clients and partners.
Ian is huge music fan and attends gigs whenever he can. His grown-up children also keep him busy as well as his interest in literature and writing.
James is no stranger to The Fountain Workshop having worked with us in a variety of roles over the years including Maintenance Technician and Maintenance Coordinator.
James now has a lead role in the maintenance of our intricate and complex features, for which the company has a worldwide recognition. James is also responsible for ensuring new staff members of the maintenance sector are inducted into an appropriate training programme, enabling our reputation to flourish as the leading water feature company in the UK.
James brings to The Fountain Workshop a B.A (Hons) in Fine Art from Central St. Martins (UAL), London. Some of his previous positions have included, Studio Keeper at the Design and Architecture Company Heatherwick Studio, Kings Cross (London) and as Consultant and Practitioner within the Interior Design field.
When not at work James is busy creating, either his own ceramic tableware, completing interior design projects, or competing in sport challenges throughout the country. He is also a keen music fan and we often find him listening to the Jazz greats like Yusef Lateef, Fela Kuti, and John Coltrane.
Jonathan has been working alongside the company for a number of years as our go-to IT expert, and as such has been instrumental in the creation of both the web-based control system that we use to remotely monitor many of our features and the Granary Squirt phone app which partners our Granary Square, King’s Cross fountains. Over the time we have known him, Jonathan has brought a wealth of experience and knowledge which has allowed him to open our eyes to new and innovative approaches to how success can and should be achieved.
After having spent a number of years working independently, freelancing for a number of projects and companies, and fighting off our many offers to fully join the Fountain Workshop team, Jonathan finally took up a permanent position with us in 2018 as our Technology Strategist. This is means that he is deeply involved in all areas of the company and plays a key role in the programming of our dancing jets and interactive and responsive water features.
Jonathan is known to his friends as somewhat of an eccentric and that comes through in both his approach to work and his clothes (think Doctor Who meets Paddington Bear!). His matching cheerful and chirpy attitude makes him a perfect fit for The Fountain Workshop.
Charlie is one of our younger members of staff. He joined us in 2015 to follow a four-year Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship. Under Andy Bowman’s guidance and mentoring, Charlie has become a valuable member of the electrical department and is doing brilliantly at college. Andy tells us that he makes an acceptable cup of tea as well!
When we excuse Charlie from his studies and fountain building duties, he enjoys making music as a DJ (house music – or racket as we call it) as well as supporting West Ham and playing golf. Keep up the good work Charlie!
Jenny is our Accounts and Administration Assistant. She originally joined us in November of 2015 to cover Sarah while she was on maternity leave but Jenny liked working here so much, she took up a permanent position with us at the beginning of 2016!
Her job is to check all of the invoices, expenses, and deliveries that come through the office, as well as inputting and processing any payments. She particularly likes the community environment that we have built here, commenting that she enjoys talking to people around the office and seeing what they’re up to.
Before joining us, Jenny was a full-time mum, but she decided to come back to work when the youngest of her two children started school. Jenny likes to spend her spare time with the kids and although they might be a bit older now, they still take up most of her time!
After joining us in March of 2017, Sharon became our Receptionist and Office Administrator. This is a varied role which ranges from being on the front desk and managing our archives to generally helping out around the office. It is this variety that Sharon particular enjoys about working at the Fountain Workshop.
This is a new career path for Sharon, who had previously worked in retail for many years. However, after a wrist injury that meant she could no longer remain in the retail industry, she pursued a new career in the field of accountancy. After spending a year working as an accounts assistant for another firm, she found us! She says that she was especially drawn by the community atmosphere that we have cultivated here, and enjoys being in the sort of environment where the work varies on a day to day basis.
Sharon is a regular theatregoer and lover of the arts, with her twin daughters being keen dancers. She loves spending time with the family and being with her daughters.
Mark joined us in 2008 as a Fountain Installer and Fibre Glass Laminator. Having previously worked for one of our suppliers, Mark was already familiar with our work and quickly became a valued member of the team.