{ Category Archives: wishing wands }

Wishing Wands Dedication


detail of one of three Wishing Wands crystal-embedded ‘heads’, approx. 32″ d.

Wowhaus was honored yesterday at the dedication ceremony for our Wishing Wands project at Berryessa Creek Park in San Jose, California. The three 13′ high sculptures are sited adjacent to a playground in a paved seating area frequently used by children with physical disabilities who attend the nearby elementary school. The design for Wishing Wands was largely inspired by meeting these children by chance during our initial site visit. Ene and I wanted to make something that changes dynamically with the light that children who lack mobility could enjoy interactively as a daily destination. After the ceremony, we were both deeply moved to see these kids energetically scramble in wheelchairs and walkers to catch rainbows cast by the clustered crystals and giddily make their wishes. My only wish is that I could make them all come true.

catching a rainbow1

catching a rainbow2

kids love catching rainbows cast by the Wishing Wands and making wishes

Ene and I are delighted that our original gesture translated so magically to the finished product, and we truly enjoyed each step of the process over the past year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who participated in the ceremony, including San Jose Council Member Kansen Chu; Patricia McDonald, Chair, Public Art Committee of the San Jose Arts Commission; Barbara Goldstein, Public Art Director for the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs; Lynn Rogers, Project Manager for the City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs; Beverly Williams and all members of the community in attendance. We hope to work with all of you again in the future!

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Wishing Wands Installed


two of the three Wishing Wand sculptures tower over Berryessa Creek Park in San Jose

Ene and I completed the installation of our Wishing Wand sculptures at Berryessa Creek Park in San Jose yesterday, mounting the ‘seed heads’ to the stainless steel posts. Overcast skies do not do justice to the sparkly crystals, and we look forward to returning to document the sculptures when the sun is shining brightly and the ‘seed heads’ refract light prismatically. We’re very proud of our latest Wowhaus public art project, and hope the community enjoys living with the Wishing Wands as much as we enjoyed the collaborative process of designing and making them.

This project is the result of many hands working in harmony to bring our vision into reality, and we owe our deep gratitude to them all- special thanks to: Lynn Rogers & Joe Saxe, San Jose Public Art Program; Jeff McCann, (Metalworker Extraordinaire), McCann Machine & Manufacturing, Santa Rosa; Tim Hyde, Structural Engineer, Ahearn Knox & Hyde Inc., San Jose; Brian Itterly, Manu-Fab, San Jose; Ray Yamanaka, SF Tube, Inc., Hayward; Van Bebber Steel, Petaluma; Robert Balf, JRL Machine & Driveline, Petaluma; Kurt Hogan, Duran/ Hogan Construction, San Jose.


Here are some images documenting the progress on site: Continue Reading »

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Wishing Wands

seed head

One of three ‘seed heads’ of stainless steel and crystal, fabricated by Jeff McCann

After a year of planning with the City of San Jose’s Public Art Program, we’re excited to be finally installing our Wishing Wands sculptures at Berryessa Creek Park. The latest Wowhaus project consists of three 12′ high sculptures depicting ‘dandelions’ in their parachute ball stage, rendered in stainless steel and Austrian crystal. The concept was inspired by the universal practice of children blowing on the plant’s downy-dry seed head and making a wish, which is what we found the neighborhood children to be doing during our exploratory site visit to the park last year. While the sculptures were under fabrication, Ene conducted a wishing workshop with the children who frequent the park, where they made wishes on the 120 crystals to be mounted on the three seed heads. Like magic wands, the sculptures will cast cascades of tiny rainbows when the sun refracts through the prismatic crystals.


a neighborhood boy makes a wish on one of the 120 crystals; early concept rendering

The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is one of the world’s most prolific weeds, whose English name is a corruption of the French dent de lion (lion’s tooth). In many languages, the flower’s name reflects the universal appeal of blowing on the seed head during its parachute ball phase; the flower is variously called pusteblume (German for “blowing flower”), soffione (Italian for “blowing”; in some northern Italian dialects), dmuchawiec (Polish, derived from the verb “blow”), одуванчик (Russian, derived from the verb “blow”).

The First Dandelion, by Walt Whitman

Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging,

As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,

Forth from its sunny nook of shelter’d grass–innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,

The spring’s first dandelion shows its trustful face.

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