Tales from the Whale Tail

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We layered the texture over coats of flat grey paint to see the contrast.

As Ene and I near completion on this phase of our Fluke sculpture, having spent the week fairing the form and applying a texture to the entire surface before molds are made prior to bronze casting, I realize how much I love working on public sculpture in this medium and at this scale. ‘Fluke’ is our third public project in bronze, but the first at a monumental scale. I’m finding the process requires a combination of everything I’ve learned from making ‘social sculptures’ and other temporary, conceptual projects, as well as from my work in furniture, architecture and design, but the outcome is so much more robust.

Because this project is so very public (and so collaborative), from its inception to its fabrication to its final installation and use, Ene and I have had a chance to put the diversity of skills we’ve honed over the years to the test. The sculpture simultaneously needs to satisfy the demands of the client (NOAA and the City of Santa Cruz), the foundry, the audience (mostly children), the wowhaus reputation, and something more like posterity. It’s been quite an education, and I’m paying particularly close attention to the entire process as we ready for more similar projects in the offing.

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