Sarah Sze SculptureFabrication and Installation
and Opposite Reaction
McCaw Hall, Seattle
New York artist Sarah Sze created An Equal and Opposite Reaction, suspended in the grand lobby of McCaw Hall, home to Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Each section of the suspended sculpture is constructed of hollow aluminum tubing, accreted with highly articulated fabricated parts and found objects, such as pushpins, rulers, zip ties, ladders, extension cords, industrial clamps, faux flowers, and tape measures. The vortex structure of the work sweeps the viewer’s gaze up into the space above.
Servicing the Creative Industry for More Than a Decade
Luke was part of a team of fabricators that brought life to Sarah Sze’s “An Equal and Opposite Reaction,” a permanent installation in the foyer of Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, home of Seattle Opera.
Weight and the overall density of this sculpture was a huge concern, so we chose aluminum, which is not the most forgiving material for building sculpture with smaller, flexible pieces like this.
The artwork was built by Seattle Opera Scenic Studios. Seattle Opera has one of the most innovative scene shops in the country, and Sze realized the importance of having her sculpture in the hands of a team with technological expertise and artistic acumen.
The artist writes, “As an entrance piece to the opera and ballet, the piece is built as a welcoming monument filled with the fantasy, imagination, and excitement of attending a performance. It is also a piece that is meant to be revisited and rediscovered over time, whether it be upon entering the performance in the early evening light and seeing it anew upon leaving the performance in the late evening light, or seeing it over the course of several visits to the stage over the years.”
The Edge of
One of Many Circles
Milton Academy, Boston
“The Edge Of One Of Many Circles” is a sculpture designed by artist Sarah Sze, and installed at her alma mater, Milton Academy in Boston. It was fabricated by a small team of scenic builders in Seattle, and shipped to Boston in large sections, to be assembled in the foyer of the school.
Since we started working with Sarah, the detail of her work has evolved because of what we showed her about what the materials can handle if we put them together in particular ways. This was the first time we fabricated the “found” objects she is fond of using in her work.
This was the project that made me very good at TIG welding; we were fabricating 16th-inch, laser-cut suspension bridges and truss to create models of cranes that support the sculpture from above.
Installation of the sculpture involved both structural welding, rigging, and rock climbing. Sarah designs her sculptures to fit into a space, and waterfall motion of the piece meant a lot of climbing and traversing the ceiling to mount the hangers and rappelling to access attachment points between sections of the sculpture.