University of Oregon
University of Oregon Libraries
Digital Collections

Oregon Percent for Art

Skip to content  Collection Home : Browse Collection : Advanced Search : Preferences : My Favorites    
add to favorites : reference url : download back to results : previous : next
Cornucopia (detail, no.5)
TitleCornucopia (detail, no.5)
Artwork DescriptionThis piece consists of a gold, inverted cornucopia shape that is suspended from the ceiling and a round, inlaid piece in the floor that relates to what appears to be representation of items that might be found in the cornucopia.
Description on ObjectClark Wiegman; cornucopia
Artist StatementFormal Approach: This intent to create an organically flowing artwork caused me to rethink my approach to the piece. Rather than mechanically-producing the artwork with 20th century tools, the work was to be all handmade (or, in the case of the floor piece, hand designed) with the aid of simple hand tools. Materials were shifted, forming jigs constructed and a forge utilized.
LC SubjectSculpture
Public sculpture
Metal sculpture
Art, Abstract
AAT Subjectsculpture (visual work)
public sculpture
constructions (sculpture)
mixed media
CreatorWiegman, Clark
Artist URL
Regional Arts CouncilThe Oregon Arts Commission has ten Regional Arts Councils that provide delivery of art services and information. The Council for this location is: Mid-Valley Arts. You may visit their website at:
Award Date(s)1998
Mixed media
Materials/TechniqueOriginally, I planned to create the suspension with a double helix formed by a 1" type M water copper tubing. A series of concentric circles would be rolled mechanically and brazed. I began working this way and could see this approach was undermining the artwork's naturalism. It resembled a machine. Several other unsatisfactory techniques were attempted. I tried a range of tubing diameters and fabrication techniques. I stumbled upon some refrigerator tubing during a material search. By bundling three 1/2" tubes with a 1/4" wrap, the tubing took on the appearance of a lashed vine or wicker (which harkened to the original inspiration). I worked with a blacksmith on this part of the project. Warming the tube bundle and stretching it around the 18 foot jig at Fibonacci intervals, a bundle of three 50 foot coils could be placed. The trick was to keep the work warm enough to keep it flexible but not so hot that it would melt or kink. A single mistake rendered the whole coil scrap. While the terminus appears to be the same material, it's actually made from 1/2" solid forged copper. Safety is a major concern with a suspended artwork. While the overall weight of the suspension was reduced from 600 to 220 lbs, this lighter framework affected other aspects of the piece. My main concern was structural integrity. For one thing it was a lot flimsier. To counteract this a series of stainless 1/16" guy cables form triple failsafes at 32 designated points, with everything anchored from a heavy schedule 80 copper tube collar pierced with 1/2" galvanized eyebolts. By having everything (suspension cables, framework, guy wires and chandelier) stem from this cluster, the suspension could be stabilized without adding visual bulk or additional building wires. The entire piece was mapped to account for compound curves in the "skin". Paper patterns for the mesh panels were created from the jigged artwork. Several types of wire cloth were experimented with to understand optical properties, weight and handling characteristics. A 10 mesh was finally selected based on this criteria. Each panel was handled as fabric, rough trimmed, shaped and sutured to the framework by hand with 18 gauge copper wire. The work was further shaped and stretched like canvas into position. The work was then adjusted with tensioning cables to create an overall flow and trimmed on site. The glass was suspended from a parallel quadruple helix at regular intervals at random lengths (to imitate the way water drips). Each piece of glass is individually blown and hung with 100% UV resistant dacron monofilament. The separate chandelier was deemed necessary for a number of reasons, most related to safety. My primary concern was that loading up the exterior shell with a lot of glass could make the piece unstable and even collapse. Otherwise, there was the issue of placing the glass within the structure safely and without damaging the artwork. Finally, the original proposal called for 200 or less droplets. After looking at a range of options in the studio (various mesh sizes and glass locations) I decided the best use of those droplets would be clustered near the opening. After the piece was constructed in the studio, it was tented and exposed to an ammonia solution for a 6 hour period. Just enough to take the sheen off the copper and brass mesh. This was to invest the piece with an earthen quality. The floor piece went through permutations of its own. Further research determined the appropriate "fruits of the earth" to be depicted. Two more versions of the artwork were hand drawn for computer scanning and translation into a DXF and subsequently a DWG file for water jet cuffing. The two semicircular 1/4" copper plates were then matched on a flat working surface. A series of pressure jigs were established to assure a tight bond between the copper and backing substrate. A palette of 26 different stained glass colors was established. Glass was ordered, crushed and sorted. The mosaic was laid out in a range of five cullet sizes. The epoxy resin was applied, shaved, flattened and an HDPE backing sheet matching the carpet height was glued. Now, as a single 350 pound unit, the piece was attached to a stabilizing framework and turned over. The surface was finished with a variety of grinders and abrasives. Edges were routed, screw holes countersunk, the surface triple-coated with an acrylic used to protect airport runways. skylight was delivered. This posed some challenges to perform the rigging with the available hardware safely. (Weigman, 1998)
Source Formatslide
Artwork SiteSalem Oregon. State Agriculture Building
Locationdirectly over centerpoint of lobby atrium
Site Address635 Capitol Street N .E. Salem Oregon
CountyMarion County, Oregon
Image Viewdetail
Image Processing HistoryMaster tiff image captured at 4000 pixels across the long edge using SilverFast AI 6.0 software. Digital images in tiff format are archived and saved. Adobe Photoshop CS2 used to reorient and crop image, set and neutralize shadow and highlight points, adjust levels, contrast and sharpen as needed. Second production tiff saved. Color profile converted from Adobe RGB (1998) to sRGB IEC61966-2.1, resolution revised to 125 pixels, resize longer dimension to 875 pixels; save display jpeg at quality level 6.
RightsCopyright is retained by the artist or author. All rights reserved.
ContributorsUniversity of Oregon Libraries; Oregon Arts Commission
PublisherUniversity of Oregon Libraries
Digital Collection TitleUniversity of Oregon. Libraries. Oregon Public Percent for Art Digital Collection.
Contributing InstitutionContributing Institution
add to favorites : reference url : download back to results : previous : next
University of Oregon Libraries | Oregon State University Libraries | Contact Us ^ to top ^