Thursday, September 23, 2010
I felt honored when the Maddox family chose my stone sculpture "Nexus" as a monument for their parents.
We delivered the sculpture to the Cane Station Cemetery on Brownsboro Road in Louisville on Friday the 17th, where we were met by Bob Maddox (left) and his two daughters (on right). The crane and truck with sculptures also drew the attention of someone from the neighborhood (center).
The first task involved drilling a 3/4 inch hole in the concrete footer for the stainless steel pin that will go from the footer, through the stone base and up into the sculpture.
I clean out the hole with a vacuum and bottle brush, so that the epoxy will make a strong bond between the pin and the cement. There is a generator on the crane truck, across the stone wall, that runs the drill and the vacuum.
I am rigging up the sculpture for the lift using nylon slings. On the right is Derrick Sheroan who is operating a 23 ton crane from JBB, Inc. of Hardinsburg. Derrick is one of the best operators that we've ever worked with.
We are using a standard 'basket' hitch for the actual lift, but I am adding an extra sling tied in a 'choker' hitch around the sculpture. It's always a good practice to add a safety sling, in the unlikely chance that one of the main slings breaks or slips.
It's important, especially for tall pieces, that it lifts up level and balanced. If there is a slight lean, set it back down and make the proper adjustment.
This was the toughest installation of the year (so far... the year's not over) and it had me worried. We have to lift the 3,000 lb. sculpture up 50 feet to clear trees. The stone wall limited our access, as well.
There was one small gap in all the tree limbs, and the sculpture was slowly lowered through that.
I initially set the piece 'dry' to make sure their were no problems with the hole or pin. I used softeners (pieces of old fire hose) to rest the piece. Then I lifted the piece, removed the softeners and set the base upon the footer.
Next, I tied 2 choker hitches around the sculpture and lifted it up from the base.
I mixed a 2 part monument-grade epoxy and spread it onto the threaded stainless steel rod. I always use threaded rod for pins because smooth round pins could break free from the epoxy - the threads make a mechanical lock that won't slip.
Then, the sculpture was lowered back into place.
This is the sculpture in its new home.
I love this picture that Meg took of leaf shadows on the back of the sculpture.
(all photos on this post by Meg White).