|SCULPTURE | N. SWEARER|
While the "Arbor" is abstract in nature it was created with symbolic meaning in mind. The two plants that join to form the arch represent two families. The roots and large vines represent the family elders which then split into the offspring. Each vine represents an individual and their course through life, some vines grow vigorously, some turn back on themselves, some, even tie a knot of themselves. Interacting vines represent the interaction of family members and the families intertwining in various fashions. The flowers are at junctions and themselves represent phases of life, buds to full flower, some are even losing petals.
The physical process of creating it was arduous. Everything was fabricated by hand. There is no casting in this piece. The vines are solid steel bar ranging from 2 1/4 inch to 5/8 inches thick (10 feet of two inch bar weighs about 100 pounds). For each vine a taper was cut, ground and sanded. The bar was welded down to a heavy steel base, then using two people was heated to a cherry-red and slowly bent and rotated 360 degrees for each twist, carefully sculpting each length. The thicker bars were welded together to form 20 foot lengths. The large vines where then welded to the root bases and intertwining was begun. Smaller vines where then added. Finally smaller vines were bent and wrapped directly onto the base vines and welded along their entire length.
For the flowers each petal was cut, ground, sanded and hammered from red brass then welded together with bronze stem and stamen. The bases are reinforced concrete with two different systems to secure the vines, the photographs show them better than can be explained here. The final piece was then sandblasted to gray metal and primed and painted a very dark green with the flowers remaining a non-polished red brass and bronze. This piece is built to last a very, very long time. Occasional paint is recommended but not required for longevity.The rough dimensions are eleven feet tall by eleven feet wide by three feet deep. There is no front or back it works from all directions.