In spring of 2011 the team at robert james completed what turned out to be a two year planning and logistical feat by permanently installing Perhaps atop a new commercial high-rise building in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. President of Centaur Properties, Harlan Berger, had seen the art installation at an art event in 2006 and thought the project could bring great appreciation and value to his then under construction Manhattan property. The installation collected a lot of buzz from the residents of New York City with most embracing the piece as an iconic symbol of the Chelsea arts district. The project is located at 305 West 16th street on the corner of 8thavenue… best seen day or night – rain or shine.
Perhaps has been professionally built with the highest quality products; the idea in mind was a piece that would survive for decades in the most extreme environments. The vase was first constructed by building a steel structure that would support the massive weight of stainless steel and mosaics. After the steel was in place, structural grade polystyrene(styrofoam) was placed around the steel making a 100% styrofoam core. This styrofoam was then carved with a combination of a hot tungsten wire foam cutter and various chain saw’s. After the vase was shaped, the (4) electrical circuits that would power the entire project were roughed in. Circuit 1 powers (24) incandescent waterproof light sockets; circuit 2 powers the remaining (30) incandescent waterproof light sockets that wrap around the outside of the vase; circuit 3 powers the (3) high powered metal halide spot lights that are installed in the center of each daisy; circuit 4 is a power outlet installed on the outside of the vase that comes in handy when you need to charge your cordless drill or other seasonal decorations. ~200 ft of 12/3 outdoor romex was used to route the miscellaneous electrical and every socket was tested before applying the plaster system.
A 3 part plaster system was then applied to the outside of the styrofoam structure. This included a fabric mesh, 1/4″ plaster layer, and a 1/8″ epoxy based hardener; this epoxy system was guaranteed to increase the strength of the structure 10 fold. This hard shell then served as a foundation for the mosaic patterns which were adhered using outdoor granite mastic. The tile used is porcelain kitchen tile, It is a off-white beige; the mirror was 1/4″ thick glass. After the mosaic was applied, a ploy-grout was used to complete the entire mosaic surface of the vase.
While assembling and disassembling the project a fair amount of foot traffic is accommodated, so a plywood deck has been installed under the bithuthane waterproof membrane. A broken mirror mosaic to match was then installed with tile mastic and, again, grouted with a grey poly-blend grout.
The flowers are 100% stainless steel; every screw, nut, and bolt. The welding process used was stainless MIG with a tri-mix of Helium, Argon, and Carbon Dioxide. The lights located in the center of the flowers are 500w metal halide spot lights that includes a ballast unit.
(click the headings for drop down stats)
- Metal Internal Structure 740lbs
- Styrofoam ~900lbs
- Plaster system 700lbs
- Thin-set ~280lbs
- Tile 325lbs
- Mirror ~500lbs
- Grout 460lbs
- Stainless Steel 1,480lbs
- Total Weight 5,385lbs
- Height of vase 12’
- Dia. @ top of vase 9’
- Dia. @ bottom of vase 7’
- Tallest flower 22’
- Middle flower 18’
- Smallest flower 16’
- Flower span 5′
- Overall height 34’
- Waterproof Incandescent light sockets 54
- High power metal halide spot lights 3
- 220v electrical circuits 4
- ¼” mirror mosaic band *
- ¼” porcelain tile mosaic *
- Solid structural grade polystyrene *
- Steel internal structure *
- Brushed stainless steel flower stems *
- Brushed stainless steel flower/petals *