When a long-time friend requested a sculpture for the front yard of his residence, I wanted the sculpture to acknowledge a couple of things about our friendship: How we originally met (working at Habitat for Humanity) and our commonly shared love of the Texas Gulf Coast’s flora and fauna.
I visited the site and determined the appropriate scale to compliment his 1950s-era home.
Complete creative license was a highlight of this project, the only request being a sculpture designed in the style that I’m currently doing. So…it would riff off of 'Interconnected' and ‘Interwoven,' two of my most recent outdoor sculptures which feature hammered sheet pods, Art Nouveau-inspired flowing lines, and a refined look.
The result was ‘Riparian Habitat,’ an outdoor sculpture comprised of two separate elements installed side-by-side to read as one.
Until the sculpture was unloaded for installation on his property, the client had nary a clue of what he would be getting. He wanted to be completely surprised, opting to not even view a sketch beforehand.
Installation time was approximately 3 hours, leaving me and my crew a couple of hours to get cleaned up for an on-site reception with friends that afternoon. Celebrating the installation of ‘Riparian Habitat’ and visiting with friends was a delightful way to end a busy day…
‘Riparian Habitat’ measures approximately 64” tall x 52” wide x 10” deep.
This is now the perfect spot for you to pause or cease your reading -- unless you are inclined to know the details about the sculpture's materials and construction:
The sculpture is comprised of two forms (the 'heron' and the 'cattails'), each atop a torch-cut and textured steel plate. The two forms are positioned in close proximity to each other so that the sculpture ‘reads’ as a singular piece.
Attached to the underside of each steel plate is pipe stem of 12” in length. The pipe stem nests snugly within an outer pipe stem housed in an 8”-diameter concrete block, thereby uniting the sculpture and concrete block and providing the necessary weight to securely balance and anchor the sculpture to the earth/ground.
Hammered sheet steel and various sizes of flat bar and square bar were volumized, forged, and plug welded. Gilder’s Paste creates subtle highlights on the hammered sheet pods; this was my first time using Gilder’s Paste to add colored hues to my sculpture. The entire sculpture was sealed with multiple coats of clear lacquer to retard rusting and maintain its refined look.
The ‘heron’ element weighs approximately 50 pounds; the ‘cattails’ element approximately 70 pounds; and each of the two concrete forms, weighing about 110 pounds each, were poured off-site and brought to the client’s residence for installation.
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