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Climbing sculptures for Holberton play area

Just over a month ago I had a phone call from Caroline at Eden Design wanting someone to make 4 totem poles for a play area. The time scale was tight, as 5 weeks is not really long to organise, carve and deliver everything. She had been let down by the person who was originally commissioned to make them. Two weeks later I had managed to get Anton to saw up a very large, short green oak stick into 3 very big beams and I also bought a stick that had been cut in half length wise. It took 2 journeys to get them back to the workshop. Lifting the ends of the beams onto 1 inch dowel, I managed to pull them out of the van with one end onto the ground. To get them fully out I had to drive the van off, letting each one fall out with a hefty thud.

I could only just turn them over on my own, and carving was a slow process because I do not yet have professional chainsaws. I lost a week and a half due to a bad back, so these were eventually made the week before delivery during the heat wave. I can tell you – wearing kevlar chainsaw trousers, helmets and other protective gear in the summer is no fun at all. It was so hot that I had to take lots of breaks which slowed progress down a bit.

Today, Monday I delivered them. Luckily, the landscape contractors picked 2 of the sculptures up at my workshop in their van, so only one delivery journey was made by me. We spent the morning shifting the sculptures up a steep path and into place. I had left the part of the post at the bottom that slips into the metal sleeve, a couple of centimetres oversize. We spent the rest of the morning planning and sawing them down to size.

Using a hoist they were fitted into the sleeves, which were all slightly different sizes

Here is Caroline being 6 again, and playing on the sculpture. Personally I think adults do not play and be silly often enough.

2 thoughts on “

  1. I see you took on the hard parts of the installation yourself: cranking the hoist and supervising from a low position, so you could see and direct better, no doubt. 🙂 Beautiful sculptures, by the way!


  2. Very nice Sean. A bad back, and then chainsawing through the heatwave, what a nightmare. But I hope you're pleased with the results? I particularly like the bird it just looks as if it happened to alight on the top.

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