The longer text on one side of the monument was selected from from an article in the New York Times, dated October 11, 1885.
There was a natural poetry to the news reportage that jumped off the page and spoke to me:
AWAY IT FLEW, THAT VIEWLESS SPARK,
TO LOOSE THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND CHAINED DEMONS
BURIED IN DARKNESS AND THE COLD,
SALT WAVES UNDER THE IRON ROCKS....
FOR A TREMBLING MOMENT THE SUBLIME SPECTACLE
STOOD SHARP AGAINST THE SKY
LIKE A MIGHTY VISION OF DISTANT SNOW-CAPPED MOUNTAINS
On each side of the sculpture/monument is an inscription, which is being carved now in Long Island City by a professional sign maker. The two texts as they will appear:
And the other side:
The longer text is take from an article in the New York Times, from October 11, 1885, which I will post shortly.
A frame constructed to the scale of the finished work was built and the wood stacked. First in a solid block after which I hammered the work with a length of wood and rubber mallet to approximate the shape of the finished piece. However the areas where the wood will eventually extend the farthest could not be realized in this form due to its instability.
The next step was to cut the 3/4 x 8 x 22 inch boards down to 3/4 x 3/4 x 22 inch pieces. The process took two weeks of 12 hour days and produce 9500 pieces of wood and about 800 gallons of sawdust.
To build the work I would need to cut over 9000 lengths of wood 22 x 3/4 x 3/4 inches each. I chose to order a clear Eastern White Pine. The downside to this wood is that is very soft, but cost was a factor too.
In early February 2016 I received a shipment of 2500 linear feet of pine boards, 16 feet per 1 x 8 inch board which filled up the studio quickly.
This wood was then cut down to lengths of 8, 10, and 6 feet. And then to lengths 22 inches long. This process took around a week of constant work: