(at Glentui Heights , Bob’s Cove , Queenstown)
When Janine Twose was discussing needing sculpture No .4 - a NZ Haast Eagle , to compliment the already installed cheeky Tuis and the NZ Falcon , it occurred to me that this was an opportunity to produce a never been done before , full cantilever mount , Soaring Eagle .
As we know by now , Janine is one full on female. She is embodied in the Soaring Eagle .
Her strength is - we can do this , let’s get it done NOW .
My kind of girl .
This Haast Eagle is not flaring to land not taking off , but FLYING!!
.Something I have been yearning for . The impossible was now to become real !
So we selected a long tine felled Glentui Heights grown tree , an air cured 8m hardwood Eucalyptus Blue Gum 750mm diameter pole as the mechanism to get the bird up in the air .
Dig hole , lift pole into place with hi ab working hard, pour in foundation concrete and let this cure for several months - to be ready to receive the bird .
Then came the task of forming up the chassis of this to be “ incoming giant eagle with outer wing glider feathers
hauntingly set as it fixes on its prey , which is you , looking up at it - 30m away , directly in its hit line ..”
The 5.5m wingspan Bird had to be workshop positioned 2m high up during construction in order that I could view it from underneath , looking up at it to get a feel for it ‘s immense horizontal wingspread and how it would require critical nuance shaping to result in the feeling this bird would be coming in at speed .
Also it would be beneficial to walk around under the bird , easily working on its lead profile underbody , able to stand tall and form the sculpture .
And so we built the 2 m high tail feather support pole on the big sculpture trailer which provided preliminary support for the full cantilever . As the structure grew in its intensity , a forward upward neck collar brace was added , to support the growing weight .
And then there was the major challenge of implanting heavy duty main frame “ hidden “ engineering on the top side of this organic motoring she bird Spitfire , with twin C section beams extending rearward beyond the tail feathers , to be the cantilever mount connecting to the pole .
The @ 1000kg Soaring Eagle & implant high strength cantilever chassis also required installation of strong “ cap “ on top of the pole to be the receiver and holder of the enormous full cantilever downward force of the structure .
This did not happen easily and was not a simple task, involving 3 engineering groups - Warrick Weber overall structural engineer , Alister Chalmers of Arrowtown Engineering making up the steel cap system and on site engineer Joel Lamason doing the essential super strength uniting welds, on the install .
Let’s finish up by saying that this Soaring Eagle has been the most challenging but most satisfying of all sculptures done so far .
Thank you so much , Janine for providing this opportunity. You are a legend . Bristling with so much enthusiasm and love for the birds and all things art .