Making Sekimori Ishi at Pedvale

Written by: Daniel Postellon

Primary Source: Daniel Postellon

My plans changed a bit from the initial proposal, which was to cast iron directly around the granite.  See my previous post about cultural resource management, and choosing the stone.   I could not have completed this sculpture without the help of my assistants, Sutton Demlong and Justin Playl.  Both were highly recommended by Tamsie Ringler.

Me, the raw stone, Sutton Demlong, Justin Playl

Me, the raw stone, Sutton Demlong, Justin Playl

The dimensions of the arms were changed from 3X6 inches to 4 inches wide.  Four inch foam was available for pattern making, and I felt it best to use that, rather than cutting and pasting blocks of foam to make larger blocks.

foam arms, 4 inches wide

foam arms, 4 inches wide

The ridges were suggested by Carl Billingsley.  They added visual weight, as well as stiffening the foam patterns, allowing them to to rammed with a flat side down.  Each are was made in 2 sections, with a sliding joint to accommodate shrinkage due to casting.

The size of the ring was adjusted slightly, to make the proportions pleasing.

Checking the proportions

Checking the proportions

The lifting ring was re-designed and the foam pattern made by Justin Playl.  This became a rounded ring attached to a disk base, with 4 round holes.  Pipe was cut to make steel inserts, which were cast into the base to make the holes.  Threaded rods passed through these holes, then through oval adjusting holes in the upper arm, and were then anchored to the stone itself.

bottom of the ring base, showing steel

bottom of the ring base, showing steel

The lower part of the arms were made so that the oval adjusting hole was hidden behind the round hole in the upper part, and were also bolted to the stone.  A piece of duraluminum was wired to the lowest end of the arm, to act as a sacrificial anode.

foam pattern for lower arm

foam pattern for lower arm

The foam patterns were fitted to the stone, and adjustments made before casting them in iron.

fitting the foam patterns

fitting the foam patterns

We used lost foam casting.  Here are the molds:

my molds

my molds

The iron fit the stone fairly well.

upper iron arms fitted

upper iron arms fitted

The sculpture was taken apart, and transported to the site.

After being constructed there, it was set in concrete, and the site was landscaped.

The sculpture sits at 57.0      degrees North,  22..     degrees East.

Sekimori Ishi

Sekimori Ishi

 

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Daniel Postellon
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a child, I played on old coal mine dumps in my neighborhood, which were the remains of mines that fed the J&L iron and steel works. Although I had uncles who worked there, I did not pour iron myself until I managed to get to Herman. Minnesota, for their last pour. Wayne Potratz helped me accomplish my first large scale iron casting,which weighed 50 lbs. It was somewhat difficult to find a place to cast iron, until I took a summer program at Ox-bow, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, under Norwood Viviano and Dan Matheson. I later went to the Indianapolis Art Center for a multiple-furnace iron pour, and did a few “rolly molds” under Kelly Ludeking’s instruction. I have built a small aluminum foundry in my backyard, where I can produce maquettes and other small-scale castings.
Daniel Postellon

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