In Melbourne's Pentridge Prison, Stanford's talent for drawing and carving was recognised - he carved bones left over from stews - and the prison governor allowed him to turn his hand to carving stone. Local sculptor Charles Summers tutored Stanford, who soon set to carving a fountain from bluestone from the prison quarry, which was the only material available to him. He modelled the fountain's avian adornments on a stuffed eagle-hawk and modelled the boy on the governor's son. The fountain was installed in Carpentaria Place (now known as Gordon Reserve) in 1871, following Stanford's release after he - and his friends petitioned for this on the grounds of his ill health.
The Illustrated Australian News claimed the fountain was 'not only a work of great beauty but...executed under circumstances of extreme difficulty [which for] most men would have been insurmountable'. Stanford received no payment for the fountain but in time became a respected citizen; he established a business in Windsor, which had a reputation for creating fine headstones. Stanford died in 1880 from silicosis ("stonemasons' disease"), having inhaled a surfeit of fine dust while creating his beautiful fountain.
This post is part of the Water World Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footsteps Waters meme.