Here is our giant apple we fabricated for the School House District in Woodenville, WA. Below is a quick look at how it was made.
The best way to make sure that we are on the same page as our clients we usually sculpt a small scale moquette of the actual piece will will be creating. This helps eliminate any misconceptions that anyone might have on what the final product will look like.
We start out with giant square blocks of foam that are cut down to the basic size with our hotwire table. We then place these blocks on a large turntable and slice the foam with our hotwire against a template of the exact profile we need. There are some companies that have large CNC machines that can do this also. We are still a little bit old school here, plus, those machines cost about $50K and in return you will pay much much more to have the work done.
Once the main shape if formed we come in and hand sand it smooth and fill the large voids with spray foam.
Now here is the big question that most people have. How do you fiberglass EPS foam so that the foam doesn’t melt. We seal the foam with latex primer and coat the entire apple with a product called Epsilon from Smooth On. We then can fiberglass over that. One problem we found with Epsilon is it is not good for outdoor use and when the sun hits it the material will get soft. Thats why we have to fiberglass it. Another option we could do, is spray glue aluminum foil on the foam, using 77 adhesive, careful, don’t use just any spray glue. For example gorilla glue will eat the foam. Once the foil is on you can fiberglass right over that. You can also use a product called “Foam coat”. However it is great for sealing the foam, I would not recommend it for a final durable hard finish for outside and where people can beat on your art piece.
We used regular latex paint with several layers using a glaze with each coat. The glaze help give your piece some depth to the paint. We then sealed the entire apple with a satin exterior clear coat . Word of warning make sure you test your clear coat on a sample board. Some clear coats that say they are for exterior use really are not, and when they get wet they go milky again and never go back to clear. We learned this the hard way.
Here we are loading the apple and getting ready to go to site for install. This apple has a metal frame in the bottom. The metal frame is about two feet tall and will get bolted to the concrete first, then the apple will sit over and on the frame. We squirt spray expanding foam in the four holes in the bottom of the apple before we set it on the frame. Once cured, everything is bonded in place.
Our apple at the school district was seen by a client and he wanted one, without the bite. So we made another one.
Nice little article talking about this project… Click Here