Kate Malone, an acclaimed sculptor, created an overbrimming urn-shaped water pot resting in a small pool framed by ceramic tiles.
The pot is adorned with reliefs of intertwining herbal plants, including lavender, cranesbill and honeysuckle. A small pump inside the urn continually recycles the water, which trickles over the curved edges into the pool below.
The fountain at the museum, in Kingsland Road, was first designed in clay, then cast in bronze at a local foundry. It is sponsored by the herbal medicine company Gerard House, which takes its name from John Gerard, a 16th century herbalist who advised King James I. Gerard used to tend his own herbal garden in Holborn.
The herb garden was created by the deputy director of the museum, Christine Lalumia, from derelict land nearby. Kate, who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1986, says the pot is a symbol of security and stability. 'The idea is that it gives a sense of well being. It is a life regenerating symbol.'
She works from a studio in Balls Pond Road, Hackney. Her other works include a bronze drinking fountain for a park in Bristol, a clay model of fish heads on display at Hackney marshes and a jug pouring milk into a breakfast bowl shown at Homerton Hospital.