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Peace Poles

Limestone | Stainless | Copper

Sculptor with limestone peace pole

 

Stainless steel peace pole cap

 

Peace pole dedication

Translations | Dedications | Installations | Landscaping

The color of copper patina
on a Peace Pole

The color of copper patina

My Work: I make peace poles out of materials that exude substance and endurance. I make them wider and taller to give them "presence" to legitimize the message.

The color of my welding shed

The door to my welding shed

It takes 6 to 10 weeks to make a peace pole depending on the size and material. Limestone takes 10 weeks. Metal takes 6 weeks. For a rush charge things can be made to happen more quickly. Usually I can make deadlines whenever they are.

It took a few years of experimenting
with the patina on copper

Patina experiments on copper

A note from my blog:
On the phone someone was testing me about who I was to be making peace poles and what my work was like. Which is legitimate. I understand that and don't mind it. But one of the questions she asked was whether I had a peace pole in my own yard.

Copper, heat, gases

Early copper patina experiments

Later I repeated the question to my wife and we had a good laugh. I told the woman on the phone that at that moment I had three by my front door, five around back, some leaning on the side of my house. They were in my basement, in the attic of my garage. . .

The glow of the heat on my hazmat suit

The glow of the heat on my hazmat suit

They take over the yard because I make prototypes that I want to watch weather over the years. Some I hide behind trees where I won't see them for months at a time so that the changes will be noticeable for not having been seen happening gradually. Others I put where I will see them constantly. . .

Experimented with making one
out of glass

Glass Peace Pole

I want to see them outside from a distance. I want to see them at night, and in the morning before the sun hits them, and at noon when the light is blinding. I need to walk around the corner and happen to notice one across the yard while I'm not thinking about them to see how they strike me. Sometimes I look up and think, "Maybe I should try . . . " and then I make a new design.

In the beginning I tried wood

Wooden Peace Poles

What does peace look like? How can one visually represent the moral, political and spiritual dimensions of it? Fortunately a visual vocabularly has been established by all of the people who have joined together to "plant" peace poles.

This person thought peace looked knitted

A knitted peace pole

But what can be done to make them speak more evocatively? What can make a peace pole more of a part of the community in which it stands? All of that is what I get to work on.

Leaning on welding shed at dawn

Stainless peace pole leaning on welding shed

The Tradition:
Peace poles are a tradition that began in Japan shortly after World War II when a man there, who never wanted to see another war, wrote "May peace prevail on earth" in Japanese on a pole and had it translated into a different language on each side. Someone saw it and wanted one. Someone saw that one and wanted one too. And it became a movement.

Origami Cranes are part of the
Japanese peace movement as well

Origami Crane

Now more than 400,000 peace poles have been planted everywhere from the North Pole to the Gaza Strip - often in ceremonies at which they have been dedicated by everyone from President Jimmy Carter to Mother Theresa.

I used to find peace under water
and tried to capture that in copper

Copper etching of diving in water

My peace poles are larger than most and characteristically are purchased by non-profit groups, usually parks, campuses or churches, but some do go to private gardens and people's homes.

Cap for a peace pole in front of a Dojo in Sweden

Copper cap for peace pole in front of Dojo in Sweden

I made one for a family designing a garden around their peace pole for their daughter's wedding. Quite a few have been given as gifts, sometimes from a scout troop or a graduating class after a period of fund raising. Sometimes to a soldier as a homecoming gift.

Turret top cap to hold plant with tendrils hanging down

Turret top cap to hold a plant

Sometimes years are spent fund raising, as described in a newspaper article (on another site) about a peace pole erected by a school needing a place to grieve after a tragedy. They built a round plaza on their front lawn (photo) with places to sit around the limestone peace pole in the center of it.

Under water swimmer etched in copper

Broad community support is common for these efforts, as shown in this newspaper article (on this site).

Diagram of paver layout around a 5-sided peace pole

Paver layout diagram for around a 5 sided peace pole

International Day of Peace:
September 21 is the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. The people who promote it say it is celebrated by someone in almost every country.

facebook Fan Page:
You can reach our Facebook Fan Page for Peace Poles by clicking: http://www.facebook.com/Peace.Poles

The Thai word for Peace
The Thai translation of Peace

Do It Yourself: How to make your own peace pole.

If you find yourself muttering, “If I don’t get to cut steel tomorrow, I shall go mad,”
you might be a sculptor waiting for an injury to heal.
Some of my text may be outside the box. . . Hey, I'm an artist.