“Atomic Tumbleweed” – Third Street Linear Park Project

0

Client

Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $110,000

Project Team

Artist

Wayne Littlejohn

Littlejohn Studio

Project Facilitator/ Communications Liaison

Laura Machado

City of Las Vegas Public Art Program

Metal fabrication

Tony Workman (and team)

Art Castings of Colorado

Engineering

Dana Ames

Horrocks Engineers

Installation

Sergio Rascon

RV Concrete

Overview

Atomic Tumbleweed is a 6-foot spherical sculpture, consisting of 4 spiraling stainless steel rings—directly influenced by the surrounding environment.
“Atomic Tumbleweed” combines forms such as the atomic symbol, celestial sphere, and gyroscope, to create a multi-faceted spherical metal form which reflects and channels color and light, while casting a complex array of constantly moving shadows.

“Atomic Tumbleweed” celebrates the people of Las Vegas and the artifacts they create.
Mounted on a 6-foot plinth, the sculpture furthers my exploration of kinetic mass and spiraling motion.

Goals

The “Atomic Tumbleweed” sculpture, perched on the southwest corner of 3rd St and Gass, welcomes visitors to Third St Linear Park in downtown Las Vegas. With a "nod" to the space age, Atomic Tumbleweed celebrates Las Vegas, and its dynamic contemporary culture. Its downtown location marks a significant wayfinding point in the heart of the Las Vegas cultural district.

Process

Atomic Tumbleweed was created using a multi-stage lost-wax process beginning with a carved, coated a polystyrene maquette.

To enlarge the original 3-foot maquette, four 6-foot polystyrene rings were carved, sculpted, hard-shelled, refined and lastly molded.

Wax parts were produced from urethane molds, in order to create ceramic molds. Ceramic molds were used to create the metal sections of the sculpture.

Stainless steel and bronze parts were created from the molds and welded over an engineer-stamped stainless steel structure.

Upon arrival to the site in Las Vegas, Atomic tumbleweed was installed and mechanically mounted to a 6 foot concrete plinth.