Big Blue Bench
August 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
Several years ago I thought a street-side bench would transform the life and traffic on Dosch Road. If it were beautiful enough, people would go out of their way to visit it, sit awhile, maybe chat. Dog walkers would rest their dogs. Kids would sit and eat popsicles. Tourist buses would climb the hill to gawk. Indy bands would show up to make their promo photos.
My friend Leslie Ariel, of Big Idea Studios, signed on. Public art that the public can sit on, walk through, play on or crawl over is what she’s all about. She designed what she says it is a twisted, 3-D treble clef. Perfect for a piano teacher. I think it looks like a folded cello. Other people think it looks like a sea mammal. What do you think it looks like?
It took the two of us most of one weekend to pour and finish the concrete. I take no credit for any of it-I just did the grunt work. Concrete is heavy and grunt is a literal transcription of what I did. Leslie did even more grunting plus all the meticulous finishing. She was out late into the evening, working by lamplight to get it just so before the concrete set up. I was inside, meticulously finishing a sandwich.
Leslie loves blue and the bench needed blue. But we didn’t know how to do it. The integral concrete stains would have just vaguely colored it. We didn’t want vague, we wanted True Blue. Since the two of us have 6 kids altogether, we found some other things to do for a few years and the bench languished, gray and unused.
Until this summer. Thanks to the folks at Ecohaus I got some beautiful blue concrete stain and finished off the bench as a surprise for Leslie. Now it really looks like sculpture. It is the best thing on Dosch Road.
And guess what? People are starting to sit on it. Dogs have been, well, dogging it. Traffic has slowed to a crawl.