Between rain storms yesterday, Skating to Fly rolled back into the park. Salt Lake City’s public art caretaker, Glen Richards, dropped by and we headed out to rent tools and etc. We lifted the sculpture into my truck and drove up to the site, and he assisted me as I drilled new holes in the concrete pad, shot the holes full of concrete epoxy, and muscled the sculpture to anchor firmly. There was a big hole in the slab from when the bird was torn out, and Glen filled that with quickset patch.
The neighbor nearest the sculpture allowed us to use his electricity, as Glen’s little generator couldn’t power the big drill or shop-vac. Just as happened at the last installation, I folded the caulk gun up like a tin can while squeezing out the concrete caulk (not as tough a unit as the salesman had made it out to be). The neighbor went back to his shop and brought out his calk gun, an old-school steel unit covered in years of dribbles of all colors. It made short work of the job, then seized on the empty tube requiring a trip back into the shop for some vice & saw dissection.
A few people in the neighborhood came out and took pictures of the Quail, happy to have it back- and surprised to learn it had been stolen by drunken muscle-heads from their own neighborhood; and they were caught by a neighbor who looked over the fence and saw it laying in the next yard and called the police. One of the muscle-heads (of at least three) was charged and fined.
The sculpture was snapped off at the skate, where the back wheel truck enters the skate. There was a chill line there, caused in metal pour, as the thick hot areas draw metal away from thinner areas while simultaneously any impurities in the metal bubble to that point. This area looks normal (so you can’t know it is there), but can fail under stress. With a group of beer-fueled x-football hero’s continuously sacking it, the chill line gave way and they tore it out like a group of hyenas.
The foundry offered to fix it at-cost. They ground out all the compromised metal at the chill line, drilled and set a stainless steel pin, and welded it all back up, and delivered it back to my studio. They even cleaned off all the hard water stains and gave it a new coat of wax.
Lets hope he can ride his skate and teach his little chick to fly indefinitely.