Monthly Archives: September 2010

Shawn and I headed out early and arrived at the library around 8 a.m. The first image is the lift we’ll use to take the entire mobile down and put it back up. The prior lift was exponentially larger and had nearly double the load capacity- but this little unit can really snake into some hard areas, and we couldn’t have gotten it down as easily with the larger lift, or at all due to the bent pole. The bent pole that made this redo necessary created some problematic areas- the big hook ends both twisted, one end wanted to let the whole side slip off, and the other side wanted to never let go. There are a few close-ups of the big hooks so you can get an idea of the problem solving on-the-fly to get everything to behave. The bend also set the stone side directly in the middle of the room, as the weight came off the block side- and the stone fans settled down on the arms of the lift and swung under the levels of the lift arms. We had to fish them out of the way by dangling down the hook end of a cinch strap while slowly rotating the lift. Lots of silly business like that kept us from moving too quickly, but we hit a nice persistant stride and walked along till the entire piece was on the ground.

We were home by 7pm. Really, kind of amazing that we could do it all in one day.

Today I loaded the new pole into the back of a 24′ U-Haul, and delivered it out to the site, then loaded the bent pole and brought it back to the studio. Flying the new pole will have a whole new set of issues, but I hope I’ve thought of most of them and how we can keep everything flying in harmony as we pile on the mass. It seems possible to get it all back up in one day, as long as we keep our wits about us and anticipate the canteliver. We’ll find out on Saturday.


Sunday was a day for the fishies. Algae had ruled the pond all summer, and nothing seemed to knock it back- so Elizabeth and I thought we’d clean it out. Well, you know how these things go- soon enough I was in work mode and just couldn’t help myself. Five or six hours later we had a much deeper pond with new lining, and the other two ponds vaccumed out and their algae baked to dust.

The fish are much happier, and four days later all the lily pads nearly breach the surface again. I have yet to really clean up the yard…my next post will explain why. Hint: Herriman Library.


Yesterday the pole recieved a clean-grind of the entire surface, then the clear-coat. Even with a respirator on and the shop fully open the clear-coat nearly shut me down. Really wicked stuff when it starts to kick off, but nothing else will act as a primer & sealer for bare metal. Out at the library they are pouring a concrete pad at the entrance with heating coils- getting the coils in place took some time, and now the concrete has to fully cure. This puts me another week out. Next Wed we hope to get a lift back in over the new concrete, and Shawn and I will take the whole thing down. Then the lift is used by the construction crew to replace drywall that was hung incorrectly, and Shawn and I return over the first weekend of October to re-install the mobile. Til then, it will float out in the shop (and through the door to the studio).

The trans-pole for Herriman library needs to be replaced, after being reviewed by a an outside engineering firm. If you recall, it had bent quite a bit. This is the new pole: a 4″x 21′ standard pipe, ground down to bare metal (5 hours of grinding). 

I also changed up the hanging hardware, as the hooks on the bent pole were not formally strong enough. I switched to the pear-shaped forms, as they function better to hang drop of the two sides.

The big D-Ring is also a shift- about two to three times the size of the prior ring to read with the massive pipe.

The washers across the top are also a beefier upgrade from the prior pipe, for running wire.

My studio monkey, Walt, helped get all the hanging hardware welded in place this morning, supervising my welding process, and provided the momentum for our lightening flash errand to the nut-and-bolt shop.  Once the studio labor was completed, we all ( the in-laws: Walt & Kaye and the wife) drove out to Herriman for our second attempt to see the mobile. A good portion of Herriman caught fire yesterday and burned up the hillsides and a few houses- but the library is fine: and we looked at the mobile and wall pieces.  We all reloaded from Walt’s Buick into the 64.5 PonyCar for a quick drive-by Davis “Quail” Park confirmed that the quail were still in place and roosting for the winter season, on our convertible sunset tour up Big Mountain to see the trees changing color. 

Now the pipe is ready for a clean grind and clear coat for the mobile trans-pipe. 

Next Wednesday is likely the day I will take down the entire mobile-scupture, then the construction crew will use the lift to rework their slightly slipshod drywall work, and then I’ll re-hang the whole thing that weekend with the new pole.

Last night I took the shell off the truck and packed the cab full of stuff I’d likely need for installation. At 7am I left to pick up the birds at the foundry, and was back to Davis Park by 9:30 with the birds in the back of the truck. The forklift rig was delivered at 10am, and that is when Shawn arrived, as well as arts council reps Roni & Glen.

My computer dumped half the pictures from today, so only one “process” shot.

Once the birds were in the air I made a template of the holes in the bottoms of the skates (where the 6″x3/4″ stainless steel bolts fit). Of course all the drilled/tapped holes for the stainless bolts set the bolts at slightly different angles. When hammer-drilling out the recieving holes in the concrete we needed to widen a few of them out quite a bit. After screwing in the bolts to the skates and raising and lowering the bird a few times, we had things ready to go. Then we decided I hadn’t bought enough concrete epoxy, and I needed a “pipecleaning” brush to clean the sides of the holes, and a shop-vac to suck & blow the detritus from the holes. So Shawn and I took a quick trip.

Upon returning I used a caulk gun to squirt in the concrete epoxy, and as we went to lower the bird we found that the epoxy had already set- in less than 5 minutes. It is supposed to have a 30 minute work time, but temperature quickens the set- and it was 80 degrees. We had to redrill out the holes, and the eopxy sets harder than the concrete. We had to rework the holes a bit to seat the bird right, then I pumped in a tubefull lickety split with the bird hovering over the holes and Shawn waiting in the driver’s seat- and lowered it quickly in place. The epoxy actually smoked as is kicked off.

Roni had to take off for meetings, but went out and picked up lunch for us all before heading out. That saved the day.

The covey of quail went in pretty smoothly- template, drill holes, widen holes to fit bird, shoot in epoxy with the caulk-gun and I crushed the gun with my monkey strength. With only half holes half-filled I told Shawn to drop the birds and we set them in place. Then Shawn went out and scrounged two more caulk-guns and I used up all the rest of the concrete epoxy finishing out the covey and touching up the single buck.



After a quick stop at the Herriman library to take the big lift up to the ceiling to grind out and repaint some scratches on the drop pole from the ceiling, it was another little leg on the highway to the foundry to check on the chasing touch-ups and patina progress. They were almost done- just a few finesses, and a wax coating, and they are ready to install!

I think the patina work is pretty amazing. They should look nice and snappy out in the park.

An early start for hole diggin. One 5′ circle, and on the other side of the park, one 4′ circle, each 6 inches deep with a central plug going down another 18 inches or so. More fussing to ensure the forms for the holes worked out, a sprinkling of 75lbs of sand, rebar cages put in the central plugs, and I was ready for concrete. I picked up the pre-mix concrete in a little come-a-long, put in 8 pints of black & red coloring (for a “warm black”), headed back up to the site, backed up to the hole, and started dropping in concrete. I added expanded metal sheets and covered them with more concrete- and then it was full. The SLC Arts Council project manager stopped over and helped me smooth out the surface, then I drove around the park and poured the other form, and we smoothed that one out. He stayed at the park and continued smoothing the surface while I drove the come-a-long back.

I got back to the park and it was time to hurry up and wait for the concrete to set. It had stiffened, but was still hours from a hard surface. I watched as a mom drove up to the other side of the park and unloaded 4 little kids and headed to the jungle-gym sandbox. The kids had almost discovered the concrete form. I considered walking over and asking the mom to make sure the kids kept clear of the concrete when they got back into the car, but that seemed a bit over the top. About an hour later when they were leaving the kids were all fine, until the mom took an extra few seconds to get a car-seat situated and the little boy noticed the concrete- walked onto the platform, squatted down and doodled a mark with his hand, leapt up and dragged a foot as he loped back to the car. I don’t think his mom even noticed. I sat there across the park nodding my head. The concrete had cured enough that he just left little tracks that I blotted out with the side of my hand- not the smooth surface, but not too bad- besides it will have a sculpture on it. Things were pretty quiet in the park around 6pm. Elizabeth drove up after work. It was cured out enough that it wasn’t even good for scratching a name into- we headed home and I imagine the arrival of 5th graders and JrHigh kids all descending on the forms with little sticks and lots of misspelled words.