Client: Small Tube Products
Location: Duncansville, PA, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $85,000
Artist (designer fabricator)
John E. Bannon
Worldwide Global International Inc.
Small Tube Products
Chicago Metal Rolled Products
Perspective-based, welded copper tube sculpture, commissioned by Small Tube Products of Duncansville, PA.
In December of 2021, I was approached by the CEO to come up with an idea for an art piece that would mark the 75th anniversary of the companies’ founding. Small Tube Products manufactures tubes made from various copper alloys and would be the source for the material in the sculpture. The result took 2 months to design and 5 months to fabricate. It stands 10’9” tall, 9’6” wide, and 10’9”deep (328cm x 290cm x 328cm). It consists of 2″ OD x .15″ wall, C122 welded copper tube and weighs approximately 1450 lbs.
The goal was to have a work of art that would commemorate their 75th anniversary, incorporate materials produced by the company, be low maintenance, within budget, and installed in time for the company picnic on October 8, 2022.
My aim was to fabricate a sculpture that reflected the high quality and precision seen in the goods the company produced; and to create a centerpiece that would instill a sense of pride in the employees and a feeling of admiration in visitors to the facility.
I was fortunate to be given the freedom to design something with very few restrictions. I was supplied with tubes of different alloys and diameters with which to experiment. We tested for strength, economy, and weld invisibility.
My design began with the simple diamond shape and its context as a symbol for a 75th anniversary celebration. During my research, I learned that the company manufactures products for six different markets. With that information I began composing six diamond shapes (each representing a different market) and came up with the hexagonal arrangement. Lastly, I inserted a negative space sphere in the center to add more visual interest and symbolize the (w)hole company where the different markets come together.
Being unsatisfied after seeing examples of different clear coatings on copper, the company decided to leave the piece untreated for a natural "living" finish, allowing for the color to evolve from bright copper, to dark brown/black, to eventually, greenish blue.