Into the Mystic
Seven pieces. Steel, painted.
Can be acquired individually or as a grouping.
The material I use for the spheres is steel. The dimensions and lengths are 1/4" x 20' round rod; 1/4" x 20' square rod, and 1/8" x 14" round rod. The installation at the Benini Sculputre Ranch has more than 4200 linear feet of steel; within every piece there are mathematical relationships.
I attempt to connect every 20' steel rod together with no breaks or separations. This gives the pieces a smooth flow. The spheres are started in the air using wooden cross pieces for support. At a specific point, the frame is removed and the process continues.
Photo by Bob Stickney
I manipulate, bend, and twist the steel by hand, following an imaginary line in space. As the sphere forms, it becomes more dificult to maintain the shape and properties. The welding helps to keep the sculpture's form.
Where the steel rods intersect, I selectively weld the connections. By selecting the correct joints, this adds to the strength, support and shape. This is particularly important with the large piece.
The six-foot piece is created by continually raising and lowering the sculpture on a 4" plate. The positioning and assembly is critical for balancing the piece. This large piece took about nine weeks to complete.
The entire process is about connecting with the spheres. The physical nature of the sculpture along with careful observation and intuition becomes a physical and mindful meditation. The observer completes the process.
They finish the connections with descriptions like "a distant memory" and "silent music". The spheres become magical. The spheres hanging from the oaks at The Benini Sculpture Ranch feel they have always been there. Thomas Harrington