Some of you might be aware of the sculpture show curated by June LaCombe, Autumn at Hawk Ridge Farm.
Here is the link to images of the sculpture show: Autumn at Hawk Ridge. Please browse through them. It is not the same as seeing them first hand in nature. But you will get an idea of the great diversity of sculptural expression.
You can see my sculptures in the company of so many great pieces by about 30 Maine artists. My sculptures are images # 13, 28 and 81.
Here is a photo I took of “Uprising” on the sculpture path. This is the first time this piece is installed in the woods. I always had it in open spaces. See what you think and let me know.
And as a preview, I am inspired to work on different shapes and forms and created the first model in copper. It also can stand as a smaller sculpture by itself. Just in case I want to play in a bigger scale, I might leave my bending tools in a different spot for the winter, so they will not be covered by big snowbanks. Well, it depends on how cold it will get this winter.
Enjoy the turn of the season and keep beauty in your life.
I would have liked to have company digging the sod and setting the sculpture in, but it went pretty smooth. I draped a sand bag over the cross section, covered the dirt with plastic and filled in the crushed stone. On the way home I picked up 2 more buckets to add when I get back to Merryspring, so there is no more plastic showing.
nice view from the lili bed
the crushed stone gives the sculpture a nice base to sit on
I worked on a mounting structure for “Uprising”. Since the soil depth is only 6-8” I decided to bolt the sculpture to an under laying cross that will be weight down with sandbags or flat stones. This all will be covered up with gravel, so the sculpture will be sitting on a gravel circle. This way the sculpture will be flat on the ground, and the lawn around it still can be cut.
After all the gas welding I have done so fare I still could use some instruction. Today the torch kept backfiring. In the beginning it was so violent that I thought I had the wrong gas. (I just got a new tank) Butch thought I should turn gas and Oxygen down a bit. But with this setting I had a hard time getting enough heat into the piece. So I turned the pressure up just a little bit more. That got it hot enough. Sometimes it went smooth, other times it still backfired. Not quite so strong though. Well I was able to get bolts welded into the spacer pipes. I’ll know tomorrow if the welds are strong enough when I’ll tighten up the screws. I welded those short pipes to the underside of the bottom ring. Now I just need to drill holes into the cross and screw it all together. The cross is as wide as the outside dimensions of the sculpture and should give enough stability.
everything bolted together perfectly!
grinding the paint coat off so it will rust even
Pam will come tomorrow and help me transport the sculpture to Merryspring. I might have to wait till Thursday to dig the hole and do the final installation.
After seeing that the first sculpture “Flowering” is starting to rust unevenly I decided to grind the paint off this one to give it a chance to rust more evenly until the big opening. With the moisture in the air that should work pretty nice.
removing the paint is showing the bending marks more clearly-until everything is rusted
I finally could fine tune the last curve of Uprising. I cut a few more inches off, ground the 2 ends to meet the other tubes and tacked it together. I had enough time to start with the final welding on all the connections, praying that the gas would last. Voila, during the last touch up of the last weld I felt the flame getting cooler and cooler- it was perfect timing.
I have a pretty cool sculpture sitting in my driveway:)
Finally a dry day! The sun actually came out. So I canceled all my evening plans and worked till after dark with the light of a spot light.
I fitted the longest of the curves in place and didn’t have to shorten it. I only had to grind the ends to fit around the round profile of the matching pipe. I propped it up with tree stumps and the step ladder and was able to tack it in place. The next one went into place pretty smoothly as well. The last and shortest one was the hardest. There were a few times I wanted to tighten a curve, but the angle of my pipe was wrong, so I ended up straightening the pipe out to where I needed to make an adjustment and then tighten it again. That happened a few times. In addition I had to handle a 13.5’ long pipe. I wanted to get it fit just right and then cut it to length, rather than give myself some extra, cut it and lighten my load. Well I finally cut it and now I just need to grind nice transitions in the ends.
I hope I will get everything fitted tomorrow and completely welded over the weekend. It is also time to think about how I want to mount it. I think I’ll check the ground at Merryspring to see how deep the soil is in that spot and go from there.
Did I mention the rain? Well, Maura was a sport and came to help me in a fine drizzle rain-thank you!!! Otherwise I probably would not have gone out.
first 2 curves are bend
It worked out great. She helped me bend the last 2 feet of the longest curve and then tacking it onto the circle, as well as the next curve. Once they were tacked at the bottom I tipped everything over and ground an angle on both pieces to join them in the tip. I first contemplated cutting angles with the cutting torch, but the cut would have required a lot of grinding anyway, so I opted for only the grinding. I ended up having to do a lot of filling, but it is tight. While I was in welding mode, I completed the bottom circle. The curves flow great together and the piece stands very securely. I’ll see if I can get the other 3 curves fine turned and attached by myself. Although help is always appreciated.
....and welded together at the top and to the circle
I had a little stretch of time and dry weather. I was able to form the pipe a bit higher and then just couldn’t handle the pipe myself any more. It got highly frustrating. I could have finished this pipe in 10 min if I had someone holding it in the right place. I could only prop it up so much on the step ladder…… GGGRRRRHHHHH. Hard to accept limitations. Also difficult to arrange help when I only need a hand 10 min. at a time in each step. I guess my plan is to bend all the pipes as fare as I can and get someone to help me on all of them for a chunk of time. I hear it is supposed to rain a lot again? May be I’ll work on the smaller pieces that I can do in the shop.
Well, I am very happy and my arms are pretty tired!
The weather was perfect and I got started to bend steel pipe for “Uprising”. The first one was the bottom circle the sculpture will be resting on. My pipe was 7.5’ long and I had it in my mind that the circle should be 2.5’ in diameter. Half way through I did the math and decided to make the circle smaller. But the rounder I got the more trouble I had to keep the circle really flat and I wasn’t sure how I would be joining the 2 ends. I can’t just let the ends overlap, cut straight and tweak in front of each other like I work in gold. So, I decided to make the circle bigger again and join another piece to fill the gap. I figured that might be easier. I also managed to flatten the circle- it looks good. I even had a left over piece that fits into the gap very well.
bending the first spiraling piece with Judith's help
After a little lunch break Judith came and helped me with the first spiraling piece. The beginning was a little tricky figuring out how to support the pipe to make it go in the right direction, but it actually went pretty smooth. We got it just done when she had to go. I am very grateful for the help. I started with the next piece myself. It is the 13’ long spiral. The pipe is heavier and I had to move my bending rig- I was hitting the building behind me. But I think I have the movement of the pipe figured out. This piece is half way done- time for a rest.
It is hard to believe, but it is raining again…..and the bugs are out as well….. Fortunately it eased off a bit in the middle of the day and I could go outside and start bending the full size model for “Uprising” in copper tube. Overall it looks pretty good. Now I am seeing a few little adjustments I will have to make, but actually if I get it bend this well in steel pipe I’ll be very happy.