Installing the Top Section of the Mushroom Wedding Arch

Continued from Moving Forward with the Mushroom Wedding Arch

image of top section of the Mushroom Wedding Arch

Top section of the Mushroom Wedding Arch

Two days of last-minute preparation left me exhausted before we even began this venture.

On Saturday November 24, I was still setting the eyes in the goat’s head and cleaning grout off of the solar disk. On Sunday morning I was up at dawn clearing the pathway in the shop so we could carry the section out the door.

Would this day be razor blades or champagne?

We started out with three volunteers, Lorna Sides, Tim Williams, Dante de Amicis and myself. We quickly discovered that the plan was not going to work. There just was not enough manpower to lift the section into place. Just as we were looking at option two, which was to move the section on to an outside table and tarp it for the winter, two more volunteers arrived, Terri Larsen of and her husband Peter Shifman.  We thought with this many people we might have a chance. It was back to “plan A”. This consisted of carrying the section out of the shop, across the yard, up the steps to the uprights and lifting it into place.

image of the installation crew inside the shop

Installation crew inside the shop

image of crew carrying the top section

Carrying the top section to the uprights

When we discovered that we could not physically  lift the section into place without some sort of aid, we moved the old well shed tower between the steps and lifted the section onto the top of the tower before making the final lift on to the uprights.

image of crew with well shed tower

Crew with the tower from the well shed

Surprisingly the last step went easy. For months I worried about lining up the four unions, which were the connection between the uprights and the top section of the arch. I decided to complete the top section first and attach it into place before cementing the uprights so that I could adjust the exposed armature to fit the two together. In the end there was only one connection that needed a little easing. We used a crowbar to line up the union threads between the two structures and screwed them together with a pipe wrench.

Image of crew lifting the top section into place

Crew lifting the section from the top of the well shed tower to the top of the uprights

Image of top section of the arch secured to the uprights

Top section of the arch secured into place.

Today the goddess gave us a reason for champagne and Lorna presented a surprise birthday cake for me. Ah! 70 years inside this body,which I always thought was a mistake but in spite of that it has served me well.

image of lighting the birthday cake candles

Lighting the candles of the birthday cake

Later we had a Thanksgiving feast inside the house.

Images of the crew feasting in celebration

Feasting in celebration

The next steps in constructing the Mushroom Wedding Arch will be to cement in the steps for the footing, reinforce the side panels to eliminate the side-swaying, laminate the carved Styrofoam side panels to the uprights, and cement the uprights. This will probably be accomplished in the spring or early summer of next year. Until then I need to secure this top-heavy sculpture from getting knocked over in a windstorm.

Posted on November 27, 2013, in Psi Keep Center for the Arts, Sculptures, Uncategorized, Unforeseen Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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