Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Weddings and an Installation

It feels like I tried to get two weeks worth of living out of this last week. Monday started early with Meg preparing for and giving a talk to two separate groups of middle school children about Greek art and its influence on her sculpture. The day went very late with my preparations for the delivery of my stone sculpture "Currents" to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, I drove 600 miles from Stephensport, KY to Green Bay, WI in this flat-bed truck that I rented from Penske. I drilled the concrete pad and made it ready for the installation before I quit for the day.

Early on Wednesday morning, the installation began when Molly Tomasallo, senior landscape planner for the City of Green Bay showed up with Keith Wilhelm, Parks Superintendant and his two helpers. Smet Construction Company was very generous when they donated the services of the white Lull all-terrain forklift and operator. Tom Van Gemert of Van Gemert Memorials (up on the truck) lent his experienced assistance. The Parks Department provided plywood strips so that the forklift would not leave tracks or ruts in the lawn. Molly Tomasallo took all of the photos of the installation.

Tom Van Gemert and myself (the men-in-black) steadied the sculpture as it was lifted off the truck by the forklift. The operator was extremely precise and smooth with his handling throughout the entire process.

Tom's idea was to spin the sculpture around so that it was oriented to the direction that it would be set.

Next, the forklift was oriented in the same direction and the sculpture was rigged back onto the forks.

The people from the Parks Department had their work cut out for them as they constantly transferred the back plywood strips to the front. The forklift slowly made its way across the lawn on this 'plank road'.

I mixed the two-part monument-grade epoxy that would permanently attach the sculpture with its pin to the concrete footer. Tom Van Gemert prepared the monument putty by rolling it out into coils and laying them on a clean piece of plywood.

The sculpture was laid partially into position, but with thin wood strips between it and the concrete, so that we could re-position the rigging for the final lift and setting.

Before the final lift and setting, Tom and I applied the coils of monument putty just inside the edge of the sculpture base. This makes a tight seal to keep out moisture that could become a problem with freezing and thawing.

Tom trimmed the excess putty that had squished out when we made the final lift and setting. I've begun the process of 'picking up my toys'. That's just about enough fun for one day.

In the background, you can see the repeat of the process of putting one board in front of the other to get the forklift back across the lawn.

This is the finished sculpture as it takes its place in the public art collection of the City of Green Bay. All that remained for me to do that day was drive 600 miles back to Kentucky. I got home about 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Needless to say, I didn't do much on Thursday except sit quietly and stare out the window, like a neutered cat or something.
Friday, Meg and I left early for Bloomington, Indiana where I attended the rock and mineral show at the Bloomington Fairgrounds.
After dropping me off at the show, Meg went to Reed stone quarry to get pictures for her up-coming children's book on stone sculpture.
Meg looks for geodes at a rock cut after spending all day in a stone quarry and a rock and mineral show (you gotta love it).

Saturday was the wedding of my Neighbor's daughter, Jessica in Tell City, Indiana. It was a big, beautiful wedding with incredible amounts of food and drink.
Sunday was the wedding of a son of a former girlfriend who got married at the Watertower Art Center in Louisville, Kentucky and it was also very well done (with incredible food and drink, too!).

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