Trac-hoes, 100 Ton Cranes, and VERY Large Boulders.

posted; 07/19/06
large boulders
I have just put up what I am going to call a “project page” on my website. It concerns this sculptural piece that I named Ascension It is on a hillside going into a large city in South Carolina, and I had hoped it would look like whitewater tumbling off the hillside.

In the above photo you are looking at the quarry where the stone came from. A mica-schist for the outcroppings, big boulders, banks, etc. and a quartzite to represent the whitewater (lots of mineral deposits and flakes to make it shine –especially at night with lights).
100 ton crane
Right now I just have a lot of images up and am going to add a narrative in a day or two. Two things will always stand out from this project for me. One—it took 3 times as long to prep as it did to execute the installation of the project. Two— it was a lot of fun, a lot of fun. I’d do it again, given the opportunity.

The above shot is the crane in action. We spent 2 full days just preparing the correct base for the crane and it’s outriggers to stabilize on. It’s good to be careful when moving boulders weighing as much as 13/14 ton.
moving large boulders
Placing boulders-this one probably weighs in under 2 and a half ton — a mere lightweight. So safety at all times – which is really about being alert. While those guys are doing the final prep, the crane operator and I did a strange dance to communicate where and how I wanted the boulders placed.

The other nice thing about this was that it was not a pedestrian area so I had some latitude in placement. After all, my primary viewer was going by in cars at 40-55 mph making detail in placement a non-issue.

The city did a little bit of planting around the edges to soften the area, I would have liked to put in several hundred grasses but there was no budget for that sort of planting.

Final thoughts, it was a great challenge – especially logistically, but it was a lot of fun. I hope it brings a little bit of enjoyment to those that drive by everyday.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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