Autumn Lights Festival @ Lake Merrit in Oakland, CA.
I had found 40 or so redwood blocks in a burn pile up in the mountains, hiked them out and and wanted to do something with them. I have always thought of Redwood as sacred...no scraps are too small to utilize. When the opportunity came up for the Autumn Lights Festival a year later I went and checked out the site with this concept in mind; using glass to cast a reflection and to contrast a round stump with a city-scape. This contrast was important to me because it was a public show and something all walks of life in the Bay-Area could relate to. To my complete surprise the platform was sitting right at the Garden entrance...this 10 ft-diameter disc-fountain, empty and dry from the years drought, waiting for a glass stump.
Finding glass in the classifieds I was able to cut it into 12" x 12" panes to lay out in a grid on this platform. I scribed the circle and broke each curved line by tapping on the scribe line to create the rounded edges.
Using a froe, I cut the outer 1/2 inch perimeter of each block off creating a cube core. Removing the core and gluing the perimeter pieces back together created a hallow "box". Using a router and different sized Jigs I created windows that would mimicked the tall buildings in Oakland at night. Then cut and fit a steel lid to slip over the top to force the LED lighting out the windows.
After finding the appropriate spots for the buildings I went on to figure out how to drill holes in glass. I was told the glass was too thin and would heat up and fracture on me. So i bought my own diamond core bit, got a tub of water and made it happen. Some did pop on me but i was far more successful then the glass company lead me to believe i would be. The key was to do it fast and underwater so the glass wouldn't have time to heat up!
Finally, I placed a painters plank between two ladders. While laying down for hours on end, I turned the ceramic wheel on and worked my way to the center with diamond bits on a dremel tool, etching each year, to create a mock stump.
This was all done in a barn in the Sacramento Valley, in a little farm town called Colusa. I then packed everything in my pick-up and re-assembled this piece at the Gardens in Lake Merritt for the weekend fundraiser in October of 2014. I put felt between the glass and plywood because, in my observations of reflections, it is the dark waters in contrast with the light sky that creates them. The LED's plugged into my wiring and snapped in with spring-loaded wings giving me a tight, clean weather proof look. Using hot glue, each building was set in its appropriate place.