The Mushroom Wedding Arch was completed on December 24, 2014. This sculpture took five years to complete and is a good test of work ability of surface bonding cement. For more details on the design and construction check out the following links on one of my alternate blogs PsiKeep Venture.
At this point in time the arch sits at the entrance of one of the goat pens. So there is a lot of chain link and field fencing still around it. But the intention of the Arch is to be a wedding arch sometime in the future when the goats have been moved to another location. The arch and the mosaic steps leading through the arch will frame a flower garden beyond and it actually look like a setting for a pagan wedding.
Modifying the armature of the upright columns
This work is one of my first architectural sculptures. I created the armature in three sections, the two uprights and the arch, using 1/2 inch galvanized steel pipe and fittings. Half way through the construction, after I had applied the Styrofoam, I decided to add an extra column of steel pipe running parallel to the original armature and cross connecting the two parallel columns.
This was a surgical procedure because I had to cut into the Styrofoam and carve a trench to lay in the steel pipe and cross pieces. I connected them with unions. All this effort was to prevent the cement from cracking and rotating around the armature. I think that my idea worked because the piece has been standing for four years and has shown no sign of cracking.
Working on the arch
I had nightmares of lying face up on a scaffold under the arch trying to apply the cement. I finally solved this problem by completing the arch on a table in the shop the year before the piece was completed. It was my birthday and my friend Lorna put together a small party of friends who we commandeered to carry the arch out to the foam covered uprights and lift it into place.
This was a heart-attack moment to see if the pipe unions would connect with the uprights. To make matters worse a tree had fallen on the armature several years before so it was bent slightly and there was no room for error. Thank the goddess everything screwed into place. It was November and winter was coming so the completed arch was wrapped with tarps and sat until the following summer on two foam covered uprights.
Some details of the Mushroom Wedding Arch