Sky Wall, San Antonio, TX
Sky Wall began in 2013 as a Public Art Commission for a large new hospital in San Antonio, TX. The artist, George Schroeder (Metalmorphosis, Schroeder Art), won the commission in a national public competition. He has many years’ experience doing art metal, blacksmithing, forging copper, aluminum, and bronze.
At 12’ high and 60’ wide, with a total of 180 panels of .050” 5052 aluminum, the finished piece is one of the largest shaped-metal sculptures in the Unted States. George did all the metal shaping on the Sky Wall using two TM Technologies Air Power Hammers (Model 1000 and Model 2500 machines) using custom tooling Kent created for George for the project.
Kent sets up one of the two Air Power Hammers that will be used for the Sky Wall job, September 2013. All aluminum shaping will be done using these air power hammers (planishing hammers are not capable of the shaping required). Special hammer dies were custom made for this job.
Kent and George plan the best approach for the style, fit, and finish.
Details and fit
Working out all the details is very important as this sheet metal shaping job is huge.
George starts shaping his first panels with the Air Power Hammer. He will do all of the aluminum sheet metal shaping for this job, and the job will be accomplished with just two benchtop Hammers.
This maquette master was used to earn this Commission. The aluminum sheet must be shaped to match the maquette very accurately.
These compound metal contours are on a very large scale. This is months of hammering.
Cleco spring fasteners are used to hold the panels until the permanent flush rivets are installed.
The grid provides the 3-dimensional form to be followed, and it is also the permanent physical structure of the entire piece.
Full size perspective
Nearly half covered
Remember the maquette in the beginning? This wall will be covered completely with hammered aluminum sheet to match the maquette.
Finished Sky Wall installed
The finished Sky Wall is installed at the Hospital, March 2014. The Aluminum sheet is .050” 5052 and has a satin finish. There are 180 shaped aluminum squares that are riveted to the grid structure. There was no need for a Pullmax or an English Wheel because of the speed and accuracy of the TM Technologies Air Power Hammer.
Excellent presentation and description. I am going to link it to my website also. I could not have done the project without you and your wonderful air hammer invention.