Fluent Traces
by Kendall Buster at Wilmer Hale,
Washington D.C. 2006

Kendall Buster’s sculpture, Fluent Traces, is composed of three large elements, each about 25' long and weighing 1500 lbs. Each modular section is made of manipulated steel bar stock covered first with a wire frame and then with a skin of synthetic, white, delicate netting.

The Wilmer-Hale building is architecturally unique among D.C.’s mostly colonial buildings. The most prominent feature, and the installation location, is the thirteen-story atrium. Created by structural glass and canted in space, it forms the building’s façade and also presents access challenges. 

Methods & Materials, Inc. worked with the building's glass installers, FN Glass, to install an aerial swing stage at the top of the atrium. The three cloud pieces were assembled on the ground, raised 170' and mounted in mid-air.





Slice of life
by Rob Fisher
at Astra Zeneca HQ,
Wilmington, DE August 2002

Collaborating with the contractors was very instrumental to the success of the project. Our Project Supervisor met with the drop ceiling team early in the process. Subsequently, a complete grid of hanging cables were hung well in advance of the sculpture installation.

From the second floor balcony, Methods & Materials, Inc. projected a transit laser and created a “cell plane” to guide the work. A grid-hanging crew formed and attached bead chain at pre-determined points on the grid. Two other crew members on the scissor lift attached each cell at four points. The position of attachment was defined by an audio signal from a handheld sensor placed in the plane of the laser. The two crews moved together across the space from the point furthest from the laser

Each cell was delivered to the site properly marked and numbered. Rob Fisher, the artist, worked from the plan, passing the cells to be attached. It took a four-person crew two weeks to install this remarkable sculpture.




La Tormenta
by Inigo Manglano-Ovalle
at the U.S. General Service Administration Building
in Chicago, IL. July 2006

A four-person M&M crew worked with the artist and his assistants for one week to assemble and install La Tormenta in the lobby of this high profile location. 

Prior to the arrival of each sculpture, six stainless steel cables were hung from the atrium ceiling. From a nearby balcony, transit lasers were used to determine the sculpture’s hanging points on the cables.

After the top portion of the sculpture was assembled, it was attached to the three hanging cables and hoisted up. The lower portion of the cloud could then be attached while the gilded titanium aluminum alloy, a sensitive finish, avoided contact with the floor. A specially designed lifting triangle, constructed by M&M, maintained cable distance and orientation to the piece, while an 8T carry-deck crane with jib allowed remarkable access. With two sculptural elements in mid-air, maneuvering was challenging, but successful.



by Magdalena Abakanowicz
at Grant Park, Michigan & Roosevelt
Chicago, IL October 2006

9 sea containers
106 x 9’ tall cast iron, headless, armless figures
424 Stainless steel pins
1 concrete platform
2 cranes + operators
8 M&M riggers
3 artist's assistants
1 Magdelana Abakanowicz
6 weeks of work

Methods and Materials collaborated with Schaefges Bros. (concrete) and the Chicago Parkways Foundation early on in the project.
Once it was determined, how the sculptures would be secured into the pigmented foundation, we turned to the careful installation of each individual figure.

Each figure was uncrated and temporarily placed, by crane. The final positions were determined by the artist, Magdelena Abakanowicz.

Each was again lifted and four holes were drilled in the concrete beneath. Steel pins were placed though the soles of the feet. The holes were then filled with epoxy and the pins, now protruding from the bottom of the feet were set into the concrete. The 424 pins now anchor the sculpture in its life long location.



Temples and Tombs/Eternal Egypt:
Treasures of Egyptian Art

from The British Museum,
The American Federation of Art

“Temples and Tombs presents a rare opportunity to see both renowned masterpieces and little-known treasures that reflect the richness and scope of one of the foremost collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world.” ~ AFA

This exhibition has been presented at accredited museums throughout the United States. Methods & Materials has been there at each stop to ensure that the oversize objects, such as the enormous stone loin’s head, are properly and safely rigged and lifted at each destination. These irreplaceable items must be handled with the utmost care.



Multiple pieces,
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park,
Grand Rapids, MI 1995-present

Methods & Materials has installed most of the sculptures at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park since 1995.

“The Sculpture Park features significant works of art within a variety of natural settings connected by waterways, meandering paths and quiet walkways.” ~FMSG

Methods & Materials has installed a number of these outdoor pieces, including Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Plantoir, Arnaldo Pomodoro’s Disc on the Form of a Desert Rose, and Igor Mitoraj’s Light of the Moon. Though each large sculpture required a unique installation treatment, there are common factors and concerns related to outdoor work.