Monday, September 1, 2008

Washington installation

Last week was taken up with the installation of my stone and earthworks sculpture "Release" in Oak Harbor, Washington. Quite a bit happened in that short span, and it will take multiple postings to get it all up. So, check back over the next few days.

Sunday, I made the 2500 mile trip to Washington from Kentucky. Carl and Karla Freund had given me the use of a house for the week that belonged to his family. Carl's family has deep roots in the area, that began with his great, great grandfather's land claim of 320 acres in the early 1800's. Carl and Karl treated me to a great dinner at their home, after my long trip. We were joined by Erica Schumacher, the project's art director, and Erica's 8 year old daughter, 'Rocky'.

The installation began at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. The first task was to determine were the sprinklers were, so that there would be no damage to them during the construction phase. Hank Nydem, Parks Superintendent turned them on, so that we could mark their position. Steve Lang showed up (a half hour early) with a trackhoe. Rick Marti (left) and Bob Black watch as he made the excavation for the footer. When you talk to contractors over the phone, to get quotes for an out-of-town job, you never know how it will work out. I got real lucky with this crew. They were experienced, enthusiastic about the project and great to work with - highly recommended!

We took a short trip to Norwest Concrete, to order the concrete and gather some materials. Bob and Rick cut, bent and shaped a rebar cage to reinforce the pier foundation.

The concrete truck showed up with 2 yards of strengthened concrete mix.

They poured a little bit of concrete into the excavation and then placed a 2 foot diameter sonotube form into place.

A little bit more concrete was poured into the tube, and then the rebar cage was put into place.

As the tube was filled, they checked it with a level to insure that it was plumb.

Right about the time that the concrete work was finished, Hank Nydem and 2 employees from the Parks Department came by and helped lay out the circle for the berm. By using a tape measure and spray paint they laid out a circular dashed line on the grass.

The 2 Parks Department employees used a sod cutter inside the dashed line, so that the new sod, to be laid on the berm, would match up with the existing sod.

They actually ended up doing most of the work by hand, because the ground was too hard for the sod cutter. That was a lot of hard work. This is just one of many examples, where people in this community went 'above and beyond the call of duty', to help me with this project.

At the end of the day's work, Erica Schumacher inscribed her name and the date on the flat, wet surface of the concrete pier. She earned the right - and I was happy to see her name permanently attached to this project. Her volunteer efforts were phenomenal.

At this point, I needed to stop work and give the concrete some time to dry and cure before installing the sculpture and earthworks.

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