When people ask me what I do for a living, this is one of the jobs I love to bring up. Over it’s course I ironed wood, stapled astro turf to benches, and made dozens upon dozens of giant blue crystals. This project was near and dear to me. It was broken up unto two, two-week segments of intensely hard work, with one of my all-time favorite crews. Dom and I prepared the crystal sculptures to be cast by sanding and bondoing the hardcoated styrofoam crystals.
While the brothers built the first molds, and figured out the casting procedure, the painting crew set to staining the circular kiosks. The curved walls were built with very soft wood, and had gotten dinged and dented a bit during the build, so I got to pull out a trick Joe had recently taught me. When you have dents in untreated wood, you can take an iron, and a damp cloth, and the steam seeping into the wood grain will fill many imperfections. You have to have a pretty careful touch to not damage the wood, but when Joe taught it to me I thought I was learning magic.
Angela finished the staining during one of her legendary shifts, and I turned my attention towards the mad rush to get all of the pieces cast. The smallest of the crystals had to be constantly rotated, and the holes in the mold needed to be redrilled regularly. The medium and large we would pour each face and then rotate once the resin set. It was a delicate balance, as the deadline loomed. Once we figured out our system we were moving, but it took endurance to get all of the crystals cast, sanded and polished in time for them to be grouped, packed, and shipped. Long days like this are only possible when you;re with great people. The shifts were long, but we project the hockey playoffs, and had long talks as we poured blue resin into giant pink molds.
When we were brought back a few weeks later the system was much more streamlined. I got to help Joe the sculptor make the molds, and then put my head down for the next several days and just produced. This was just as it we getting warm last spring, and the heat of the resin roasted us in the back of the shop, but we got the job done. The crystals were cast, sanded, ploished, repaired when necessary, and grouped together by Brandon and Joe before they were shipped to LA.