Friday, August 11, 2017

Adding a new skin

©2017 Barry Smith - Welding in progress - photographed using the iPhone whilst having my eyes protected by a very dark welding mask - couldn't really see the image at all.
Almost two months ago I posted that I had all but completed the installation of the Buttress Root sculpture. There was remedial earthworks and signage to do. But then it was discovered that two spelling mistakes had been made in the routing process in one of the poems inside the trunk section of the sculpture as you can see from the photo below.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Spelling errors
What to do about that? It was decided that it would have to be rectified by creating a new skin that was routed with the corrected spelling; and install that over the offending text. Any other option would have looked bad. Over the last two days I have worked with Edith-Ann and Oliver (the welder) to install a new skin to the inner side of the trunk.

That sounds simply - but let me tell you that it was extremely difficult to get the skin to sit within the old trunk section. Many clamps and much gently brute force were required to get the skin to conform and enable Oliver to tack and weld it into place.

Still we got there after: clamping; tacking; welding; cutting off the excess when the the full weld was completed; grinding; buffing and polishing; and filling in the groove in the base with a hi-tech industrial concrete repair material.

©2017 Barry Smith - Cutting the base insert groove in by hand
©2017 Barry Smith  - Skin: cut, routed and rolled - ready for attaching
©2017 Barry Smith  - Many clamps required to pull the metal into place
©2017 Barry Smith - Clamping and tacking one section at a time
©2017 Barry Smith - Cutting the excess metal off
©2017 Barry Smith - Grinding after welding complete
©2017 Barry Smith  - Buffing and polishing
A beautiful finished product - you would not know we have added a 4mm skin. The trunk in fact looks even more solid now that the trunk metal is 14mm thick. It all just needs to weather again.

©2017 Barry Smith  - Standing proud in the landscape
©2017 Barry Smith  - Looks like an older worn version
©2017 Barry Smith  - And the spelling is correct
The rectification was given sign-off by the authorities. I'm now officially happy; but tired after a couple of heavy days. We will raise a glass of red to the completion of the work.


  1. Wow - amazing work - so poignant - Art in the right moment and space - cheers Barry!!


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