Friday, October 31, 2014

Water Ways: A Flurry of Activity

So much has happened in Water Ways in the last two weeks!

Artists Peter Geisser and Mika Seeger installed a stunning ceramic mural that will be a focal point of the exhibit – stay tuned for a peek at their process of making the mural as well as the finished product.

Chris (Museum exhibit designer & fabricator) and Nick (Museum exhibit technician) built and installed a new zigzag tank in the toddler play area.

Our team of water engineers connected the water system they installed in our basement to the tanks.

And then we finally had WATER – something rather important for a water exhibit!

AND mist!
A vortex and spigot wall in the toddler area.

An entryway made of colorful translucent waves plus vinyl swooshes added to the windows complement the look, feel and flow of the space.

Crew member James installed the slate painting wall – a repurposed chalkboard salvaged from an old schoolhouse.

And Chris and Nick mounted a high-up waterfall that will provide a constant gentle shower into the tank below.

Just ONE WEEK to go!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Water Ways: Going with the Flow

The process of reinventing Water Ways continues!

Water exhibit specialist Tom Lindsay arrived from the West Coast to help install the interactive water components that he designed and fabricated – which meant working with water engineers to drill through the floor to the basement, which houses the new water filtration and mechanical systems.

Tom and Chris (exhibit designer & fabricator) work on the vortex tank in the toddler area.

Robin (exhibits director) and Chris (exhibit designer & fabricator) survey the tanks and components.

A core from the floor – check out all of the layers, which meant some serious drilling!

Crew member Robin installed the “wind wall” – a panel of silvery objects that shift and shimmer like the surface of water in response to currents of air. They’re fishing lures, actually – nearly 2,000 of them!

The team created some walls to subdivide the environment into its various components…

Chris created the frame for a divider that will
contain one of the activities in the toddler play area.
Crew member Zach worked on the wall that will
separate the ice play table from the tank area.

After welding together an intricate ice table and stools, Chris smoothed them out before sending them off to be powder coated – they'll be a lovely purplish blue next time we see them.

Robin and Valerie (graphic designer) made some final decisions about images of water play that will occupy two walls of the exhibit, then hung paper prototypes in the space to determine size and layout of the images and artful lines of water poetry.

Much more to come!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Water Ways: New Tanks!

Some recent scenes from the Water Ways process…

The environment got new flooring in September – a multi-phased and smelly (!) process that required the Museum to be closed for a week. The finished product:

Our new tanks have been fabricated offsite by subcontractors over the past few months. Based on designs provided by the Museum, they created patterns for the tanks from Styrofoam and then used the patterns to fabricate tanks in fiberglass.

Once the new floor was complete, staff used paper templates to map out final tank placement.

And then our four new tanks were delivered and assembled.

Stay tuned for installation of new water activities!