Posted by: kathandroger | December 11, 2015

How to mount a giraffe.

It was with some degree of enthusiasm that I embarked upon the latest metal sculpture. There was some bits of old metal still hanging about in the workshop along with a couple of old metal roofing sheets. Think big I thought, better than those piddly little things you usually make. A giraffe was the obvious answer, and the frame for the head is on the last post. Funny how initial enthusiasm can give way to frustration, anger and general ineptitude. All went well at first, and the project grew…and grew…and grew. Now I know that giraffes have long necks, and I tried to make the neck in proportion to the head, but I had omitted one rather important observation. Using metal, upon a thick building rod frame, the whole caboodle becomes a bit heavy-almost too heavy for me to lift! With that and the fact that it was all very unstable on the workshop table, there was even more than normal cussing going on, especially when my welding skills became strained by the thin metal I was using. The tongue fell out several times and in the end had to be riveted in. Knowing that the erection would be a problem, I fitted a thick post into some concrete in the corner of the orchard. No way was the trouble and strife going to lift the thing with me, and even with several attached ropes the whole structure looked very precarious. But, as it happened, my clever wife had arranged a lunchtime meal in a local restaurant for her English learning class. A lovely time was had by all, with four English friends joining the dozen or so French, and the entente was very cordiale. Getting the French to understand that I wanted to mount a giraffe after our meal was bad enough in their own language, let alone in ours, but two willing friends, Alain and Dominic, offered to help me, and with some effort the animal now stands guard over one corner of our property.IMG_3277 The local traffic seems to slow down to have a look, and his picture has already been taken by groups of ramblers. Surely it’s not unusual to see a metal giraffe overlooking the lanes of France. I had originally planned to have two front legs hanging over the wall as well, but have learnt my lesson and will not do any more big sculptures-except a lion maybe!IMG_3278


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