Delaware State Division of Parks and Recreation operates and maintains 16 state parks and related preserves and greenways throughout Delaware. The idea for the installation at Killens Pond State Park started as a doodle on a notebook. One of the State Park employees had been drawing different plants and animals, many of which can be found across any of Delaware’s many state parks and preserves. After noticing the artwork, word spread and an idea was born, to make the artwork a permanent installation at Killens Pond by bringing the drawings from the page into steel. The perfect place – the steel canopy at the entrance of the state park.
A custom art installation such as this starts with the art itself. Once Oat Foundry received the vector images of the drawings, we set out to lay them out in a format and size that would fit the entrance canopy of Killens Pond well. Sizes for the steel panels ranged from 3’ x 5’ to 4’ x 6’. Once the artwork was laid out properly, Oat Foundry created the panels in 3D modeling software, and conducted analyses to understand the stress and strain the panels could withstand in an outdoor environment. With proper computational loads applied and strength of the panels understood, a proper thickness and subsequent reinforced framing was chosen.
Fabrication commenced with laser cutting each of the five panels. Laser cutting the panels allowed Oat Foundry to achieve the detail necessary in each drawing. With cut panels in hand, we began sanding each of the panels to get a consistent finish. After sanding, multiple coats of Permalac were applied to each of the panels to seal them from the elements and prevent rust. The frames were then cut out of 1” x 1” steel square tube and assembled to the panels. The panels were brought down to Killens Pond shortly thereafter and installed on the 9ft open canopy at the entrance for the light to cast the shade of the drawings onto the pavement as a welcome sign for all of their guests to see.
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