3 ft catwalk
1920's themed speakeasy inside the bonsai pot
3-4 ft .5 wall steel pipe (trunk)
16 in .250 wall steel pipe (branches)
1 in steel (base plate)
1.25 grade 8 mounting hardware (base plate)
.250 wall steel bonsai pot with tube steel (connection)
6 in X 6 in square tube granite platforms
Total weight: 37,000 lbs
Steel pot: 24,000 lbs
Granite: 4,500 lbs
Bonsai stalk/branches: 7,500 lbs
Inflatables: 1,000 lbs
Total height: 65 ft
Pot dimensions: 20 ft x 20 ft x 9 ft
Large foliage canopy: 30 ft x 14 ft x 9 ft
Medium foliage canopy: 18 ft x 12 ft x 6 ft
Small foliage canopy: 12 ft x 7 ft x 4 ft
This project is a large scale depiction of a well known Japanese horticultural art form called Bonsai. The theme for the entire project is 1920-30’s – the great depression leading into the industrial revolution. The fabrication process is a homage to the craftsmen of this time and our material selection is very strict in utilizing material only manufactured during this time period. The means and methods available during this time period will also be carried out in our fabrication of the project… no mig welders or plasma tables. This project will be handmade with oxy/acetylene torch; the steel beams riveted together rather than welded. All of the steel has been sourced from railroad bridges, building demolition, and miscellaneous reclaim yards across the country.
The piece starts with the traditional square pot made of salvaged steel and hardware. The exterior of the Bonsai pot is weathered and fastened using hot rivets. The feeling we’re trying to achieve with the pot is very much an industrial revolution/empire state building feel. Along the top edge of the entire pot is a 3 foot catwalk that may be used for performance. The center of the pot will house a dozen or so large granite boulders -real boulders, no faux finish on this installation. The Bonsai’s 3-4 foot diameter stalk rises out of the center to snake up and taper to the 50 foot mark. The steel pipes are fabricated and formed into branches and clad in a bronze mirror and glass mosaic. The organic foliage or canopy of the Bonsai are three large inflatables. The storyboard for the inflatables is a mix of Airships like the Hindenburg or Zeppelin naval fleets, and Mylar weather balloons.
The lighting for the project shall consist of ground lighting around the perimeter of the pot; up lighting from atop the pot around the granite boulders; and a high powered cluster inside the inflatables that make the canopy glow. The lighting storyboard during the building process was supported by Edison bulbs, old movie spotlights, underground speakeasy’s, and candle light.