Chapter 1, early December 2012
The first step in translating any idea of mine into sculpture is a trip to the scrap yard, a stage
made even more enjoyable ever since my good friend Wayne Vaughn pieced together this amazing truck
from several sources, including a bed from one of those scrap yards, and a knuckle boom rusting away
in the weeds on some other truck down east. Coming off the truck here is the beam that will become the
foundational element in "Murmuration."
First cuts, and a view of the how I keep my toes in tact in stead of crushed by falling steel.
Strategy becomes all important as you start dealing with the increased weight of all these
substantial steel elements.
Once wire brushed, and the edge ground smooth where the flange has been cut away, there
is already a degree of aesthetic refinement to the shape of the base as I weld it up...
...and like all refining processes, it takes time. By the end of this second day I'm getting close to
being happy with how it's taking shape.
At the zoo the footing has been poured and anchors set in concrete. I made duplicate patterns
to keep us on the same page as far as bolt pattern goes. The drill here is a nifty little device that is
held in place during the drilling by a strong electro-magnet, and cuts through steel like a hole-saw
that you might use to drill a setting for a lock set in a wooden door.
As I said, strategy comes into play with every maneuver in handling a shape like this. Already it
weighs in the several hundreds of pounds range, so lifting, flipping and moving all involve time
And so the first element is fabricated. Next step will be to dig that long steel tube out of the materials stack and
start to fashion the vertical movement skyward. I'll post more as that step becomes a reality.
Coming on mid-January, Chapter 2
Early to mid-February, Chapter 3
Late February, Chapter 4
Mid-April, Done, Chapter 5