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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

King George School "Under the Prairie Sky" collaborative Sculpture progress

I am working on the King George School "Under the Prairie Sky" collaborative project right now.  It is an incredible experience working with the King George School community.   The students researched what was on their school grounds before their school existed and determined what elements (grasses, animals, trees etc) they would like represented in the sculpture to show what they had learned.

Then the students spent 3 days hammering textures on the laser cut aluminum aspen leaves.  

12 students visited my studio to check up on the progress back at the end of June.  It was fun to have them out and be able to share with them the progress, techniques and equipment.  I appreciated their visit very much and was excited by how interested they all were.  

Maryse Samson, Principal, came out last Sunday and helped out shearing some extra aspen leaf forms.  These are going to be used to fill in spaces where only a portion of a leaf is needed.

Here are some pictures of the progress to date, newest at the top.  So far I have used 400 rivets and I am not quite 1/2 done the riveting yet.

The Red Tailed Hawk with leaves positioned.  Not all the rivets are set yet. I used a particular texture for the red tailed hawk to make it stand out.  The textures will show more once I have put the finish on.

The aluminum round bars are a combination of  5/8' and 1/2 "
Welded Aluminum framework on the side that I still have to plasma cut the backing for.   It's not as heavy right now if I work on only one half first. There is an aluminum flat bar that goes around the sculpture 1/4" thick.
The very first rivets set through the aspen leaves and into the backing plate - they are not oxidized (blackened finish) yet. I had to flatten and anneal them first.

Some tools to set the rivets - drill, riveting hammer, aspen leaves and rivets.  Not shown is the rivet set.

 Rivet Set
Hammering Stations that the students worked on to hammer on textures to the aspen leaves

One half of the plasma cut backing for the sculpture
Plasma cutting the backing plate

Working drawing of the final design with the students input - bison rubbing stone, red tailed hawk, native spirit, chinook wind, aspen tree, fescue grasses, sulphur chrysalis butterfly, weasel

My original design to generate ideas - it was a sculpture a la carte, buy by the bird, small mammal, large mammal etc. I designed it to make it easier for students to fit the sculpture to their research results and their budget.