Friday, October 30, 2009

Home of the Innocents sculpture installation

Monday was the scheduled day to install Meg's Home of the Innocents sculptures in Cave Hill Cemetery.

Steve McMillen (in the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife jacket) met us at the studio with the first light of day. We disassembled the sculptures and prepared them for the journey to Cave Hill. I recognized Johnny (on the right), who has worked for Bill Brummett Monument Company since 1985. It was a good feeling to have experienced help on this installation - I knew it was going to be a tough one.

Paul Roerig, the new owner of Brummett Monument Company, had provided his 1 ton truck for transporting the bronzes. They were safely snuggled on a mattress with lots of packing blankets.

After making the trip from the studio to Cave Hill, we began the installation by setting a granite base. Cave Hill had previously installed concrete footers - they had done a great job!

Next, we placed the 1 ton, lettered plinth.

Then came the most dreaded part of the job - getting the straps out from under the heavy plinth, and making a seal with monument putty between the stones. But, I had picked a great crew, and there were no mishaps.

Michael Higgs, of the Heritage Foundation, and Sharon Receveur, the committee chairperson, were just in time to see us install "Ascension" onto the stone bases.

The next site required the use of these fiberglas boards, so that the truck wouldn't leave ruts in the soft ground. Actually, we are moving the boards over, so that we can back Paul's truck beside the crane, to unload the 2nd bronze sculpture.

The granite base and plinth were set, just like at the other site. Here, we are installing "Metamorphosis".

The final stage of the installation involved pinning and epoxying 3 bronze plaques to each of the 2 monuments.

After attaching the stainless steel pins and spreading on a 2 part epoxy, I push the 70 lb. plaques into position.

We applied pressure to the plaques using ratchet straps, so that there was no chance of the plaques slipping out of position while the epoxy set. We left them on, over night, as the epoxy had a long cure time (the longer the cure time, the stronger the bond).

Meg snapped this shot of a HUGE mushroom, while we were zipping up the last of the work. You can see that it was twilight before we were through. We started our day in darkness, and ended it in darkness. Everyone was exhausted, by the time we got through. But, it looks like we had the pick of the week for weather. We got lucky, when we needed it most.

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