JUNE 2012: Cow Bicycle Rack, Donated to the Bent Northrop Memorial Library – Value: $7,800.
The Cow Bicycle Rack was my eleventh piece and it was completed one week before I graduated from the 8th grade. The BNM Library is next door to my elementary schoolin Fairfield Vermontand it desperately needed a place for kids and families to put their bicycles. This was my most complex work at that point because of the need for this sculpture to be painted. (My normal “junkyard metal” medium would have been dangerous and dirty for cyclists to brush up against.) It was also complex because I had to build it in my studio, then de-construct it, and then re-construct it at the site.
Here are some pictures of the process from start to finish… First, I photographed some local cows. Then I used a projector to trace the forms on some 6′ by 6′ sheets of eighth inch steel. I had to use my plasma cutter to carefully cut out the silhouettes. I had one chance to get it right! Preparing the metal for painting – grind off the sharp edges, polishing and priming – took a long time. Finally, we painted. The fabrication to that point took about 35 hours.
I had the sculpture temporarily put together in my studio and then we had to de-construct it in order to move it to its final site at the library. You might notice the ground the cows are on is very uneven, yet the sculpture follows the contours of the yard to keep it from being a tripping point. This was a MUCH bigger undertaking than I had imagined. It has inspired me to make a few more HUGE pieces for local situations that call for “Novel AND Useful” art.