Building the Mushroom Wedding Arch: Part I

It is time to get going on the summer sculpture projects.

After all this is an art center in development and I should be posting about the art.

This summer I plan to complete the Mushroom Wedding Arch. I began this project three years ago and each winter I have wrapped the uncompleted work  in plastic tarps to protect the armature from rust.


I have held back completing it for two reasons. First, I could not figure out how to apply the cement to the underside of the arch in a safe and comfortable manner. The process takes a considerable amount of time and I do not have  sufficient scaffolding to do it right. Second, I was never satisfied with the armature. There was just too much sway toward the top of the  arch and I was concerned that this give would create structural cracks in the cement.


But one night last winter it came to me just how I could solve both problems. What I needed to do was to redesign the armature so that there are two parallel steel pipes connected with cross pipes like a ladder going up the sides of the arch. Since I built the armature out of ½ inch galvanized steel pipe I can take advantage of the fact that it is screwed together. I can design the top of the arch so that I can work on it on the ground and install it in place after it is completed. Ah the beauty of the union coupling! These little babies are going to save this project.


The first thing I did was to string up a tarp so that I could work in the shade. I worked beneath the raucous cries of an indignant raven feeling threatened by the flapping tarp.  

The next thing I did was to cut into the Styrofoam and locate the old armature constructed out of single pipe running up the sides and across the top of the arch.


Section of vertical pipe and lateral pipe revealed inside the Styrofoam.

Two years ago I was concerned about the Styrofoam rotating around the pipe and I redid the armature by placing a series of lateral pipes along the vertical structure to keep the Styrofoam from moving. Lucky for me I drew a diagram so I knew where those lateral pipes were inside the foam.


I was going after these joints because this is how I can attach the second parallel pipe to the first one.  

More on this later after I calculate how many “tees”, “unions” and “nipples” I am going to need.

Posted on May 30, 2013, in Psi Keep Center for the Arts, Sculptures, Uncategorized, Unforeseen Events and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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