Monday, April 4, 2011

The Big Day!

 This was the big day!  The flowers were to take yet one more trip
to their permanent home at Garden City Early Learning Academy.

All loaded and ready to travel.  The mulch for the garden made a good cushion for the flowers.

Once we arrived at GCELA we unloaded and 
placed the flowers in their correct location.  
We attached the flowers to the gates, using our bolts,
backing plates and nuts.  Then we painted them so they
would match the green backs and gate.

Here is the view of the installation from the back.

As we installed the flowers, the space was transformed.











Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Please celebrate with us on April 13 at 9 a. m. in The Garden
at Garden City Early Learning Academy
2202 Avenue Q, Fort Pierce
Please R.S.V.P. to Deborah Labigang at 772-468-5277.

We would like to thank Art In Public Places,
the Board of St. Lucie County Commissioners, 
and especially Teri Barenborg and her amazing staff at GCELA
for their vision and wonderful assistance in helping this project come to fruition.

Ginny and Becca.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Painting The Flowers

To prepare the flowers for painting, we first ground some of the welds to "chase" the fronts of the flowers.  Next we washed each flower in a special acid wash just for aluminum.  Then we wiped down each flower with acetone to remove any oil residue from handling the flowers.  It's true what they say . . .  preparation is 90% of the job!

The next step for the flowers was priming.  The primer helps bind the paint to the aluminum.  


There were nineteen pieces to prime!  Late nights in the studio.


When the primer was dry, we painted the backs of the flowers a green to match the gate.  This gave the back of the piece a finished look.  Notice our welded bolts?

Next, we broke out the colors and the fun began!

Becca painting the biggest flower.

A teaser.

Next, installation!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Garden Bench

Before we show you more about the flowers, lets look at the garden bench.  Remember the three parts of the project?  Flowers, bees and the garden area.  The bench sits in the garden area.  Our bench came disassembled.  This was good because it allowed us to paint the slats first.

Here the slats have been primed and are waiting to be painted.

Since GCELA is a  "Kids At Hope" school (click on "Kids At Hope" to learn more), we included the kids at hope pledge in the installation.  We decided to add it to the back of the bench.  Here it is.

Becca painting the pledge.

The finished bench being sealed.

More about the flowers.

When the flowers were welded, they traveled to GCELA for a "fitting".  We placed the flowers, 

made a few adjustments . . .

and marked locations on the backs for aluminum bolts.  The flowers then went to the welder for the bolt welding.  And finally home to be prepared for painting.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Constructing The Flowers

The parts and pieces come together.

For the stems, we cut aluminum rod with a chop saw.
For the whimseys (A very technical term!  These are all the little curlycues on the flowers), we used a special setup.  We welded three pipes onto our metal table.  Notice how the pipes are spaced differently?  This is so we can make bigger and smaller curves.


Next we placed one of the rods between two of the pipes.

Then we applied pressure to wrap the rod around the pipe, making our bends.
Aluminum is a rather soft metal.

Some finished whimseys.

The next step was to weld the flowers together.

Here Becca is taping a flower together so the welder knows where to weld.

Here is one of the flowers laid out for welding.

A flower being welded.

The welder's tools.

Our project welder, Landis, with the first finished flower.

Next, the flowers bloom!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bees And Flowers

Here are a few shots of the bee installation.

When we designed our flowers, we made a computer file for the flowers, showing all the parts of each flower.  We used this file to "deconstruct" the flowers, arranging them to scale to fit as many pieces as we could on each 4' x 8' piece of aluminum.  These files are shown below.

This picture shows some of the flowers in the computer file.
Each color designates a separate piece of the flower.

This picture shows pieces of the flowers with the color removed. 
This is converted to an AutoCad file.  That file is used
to guide the laser cutter so that an accurate cut can be made. 

All the flower pieces fit into this one rather large box.  

Our next challenge was to arrange all the pieces into their respective flowers.

Some of the pieces in our driveway.

Some of the flowers already arranged.  Once we had the all the parts accounted for,
we marked and numbered the pieces.  Time to call in our project welder!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Here are some of the wonderful bees that were created.
(Click on the individual bees to see them close up.)

Next . . . . the flowers!