Pelican Casting



The images in this series show the process by which a rotting wooden sculpture was cast in concrete. The original wood carving (St. Paul’s mascot is the pelican) was created in the late 1970s and was left in the elements in New Hampshire without adequate maintenance or alternative protection. It was moved inside in an attempt to save it. However, the original location on the path to the athletic fields was left empty. I developed a class around the idea of replacing the wooden original with a concrete copy. The department of art at SPS was generous enough to support and fund the materials necessary to make the casting possible. Adele Xu and Jocelyn Drexinger (students in a my sculpture seminar class at St. Paul’s School) assisted me over the course of 10 weeks to plan, prepare the wood pattern, make the mold, develop a placement solution, and to organize a concrete pour. The molding process involved a brush-on application of polyurethane rubber with a fiberglass mother mold around it. The facilities crew at SPS was instrumental in the placement of the piece as they buried the mold itself, developed the concrete footing, and lifted the piece into its final position. Thank you, Scott, Chap, Steve, and Fred. The concrete design mix was developed by our local redimix concrete company and included air entrainment and super plasticizers for better durability in the New Hampshire weather cycles.

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