Blog – Peace Poles of Stone and Stainless

Why not set peace poles in cement?

A tree near my front door finally grew too large and was crowding a copper peace pole I had put near my front door seventeen or eighteen years ago. There still is room for the stainless peace pole, but not the copper one. I took it out and carried it across the lawn and leaned it on a tree. Now I can see it out my window as I type this. I rather like it leaning on the tree where I can see it. I wonder how long I can get away with leaving it there. Passersby probably would regard it as an unfinished project needing attention.

Copper peace pole temporarily leaning on a tree
Pre-spring, no leaves on the tree the copper peace pole temporarily leans on.

There still is a stainless peace pole closer to my front door right in front of my kitchen window where I see it everyday. One by one fewer and fewer have remained around my front door over the years as landscaping matured or was altered leaving less room for them. Five different ones was excessive anyway. Now that I’m looking at it where it is I would like to put this copper one closer to being in front of the office window I’m looking out of now as I type this.

But first I think I’d like to take it to my art studio downtown and let it be seen there for a while. Normally, when there is a peace pole there for anyone to see, it is one I just finished making and am getting ready to ship, if the deadline for it is not too close. At the moment no one is going to art studios anyway though, not even me. The Covid-19 plague has most of us self-quarantining. Where the copper peace pole is now will be in the way of lawn mowing when it becomes time for that. I guess I’ll leave it where it is until that becomes the issue.

Copper Peace Poles

The title of this post is peace poles of stone and stainless and here I am talking about a copper one. Why I don’t make these anymore is covered at Copper Peace Poles.

Copper Peace Pole with vines and peace messages etched into its patina


The blueness of the patina is temporary. This photo was from when it was brand new. A little age will temper it to greens and darker shades with streaks of blue like the copper peace pole higher on this page and another one on this site at this link.


I like making things that last forever anyway. Consider your having a peace pole that lasted longer than stone henge or the sphinx. Peace poles of stone and stainless will. I like that.

By Joel

I'm a sculptor who makes monuments to peace (peace poles) built to last millennia, mainly for campuses, parks and churches, but also for some individuals. Some of my other sculpture can be seen at

3 replies on “Blog – Peace Poles of Stone and Stainless”

Mr. Selmeier,

I’m thinking to try making a hollow metal peace pole for our home with interior illumination. Taking inspiration from the illuminated stainless steel pole on your site. I’m leaning to 8’ high from ground, and either 4 or 6 sided depending how ambitious I feel. I’m thinking of attaching it to a 3’ treated wood post, 2’ of which I would plant in ground. I think the top of the wood would also serve as the base for the interior light.

2 questions, please:
What metal would you recommend as cost effective while still durable outdoors?
What kind of light did you use for the stainless steel pole?

Also, I noticed your 513 area code. You in Cincinnati? I am.

Thank you,
Todd Teismann

I am in Cincinnati, in Anderson.

The kind of metal to choose depends on how long you want it to last. If 10 or 20 years is long enough, you can use mild steel. Galvanized steel lasts longer, but it is quite hazardous to work with. You might know about the fumes given off by it when working on it. Stainless steel is what I usually use. That lasts forever, but it is expensive.

I would put an LED spotlight inside, but you have a post inside which might need something other than a spot light to spread the light around it.

There is another way to plant a hollow peace pole, other than over a wooden post. I have done it by driving metal fence stakes into the ground and sliding the pole over them. Two will do it for a 4-sided pole, three for a six-sided. At the ground they are the same distance apart as the inside of the pole, but they tilt outwards so that they will spring against the pole. I posted a photo to show you at the bottom of the Other Peace Poles page on my site:


Believe it or not, I’m just seeing your reply. I didn’t realize I was communicating via blog and was anticipating an email response. Then I got caught up in work priorities for a while. Now renewing attention to this project, went back into your site, and found blog with your response via link in your copper poles page.

Thank you so much for your kind response and information! BTW, I’m in Anderson also. If I’m successful with this project, I’ll invite you to see.

I stopped at FedEx on Beechmont and learned they can print the phrases on a blueprint printer. That way I’ll have large enough templates.

I contacted Metal Supermarkets in West Chester today. (Don’t know if other options around.) Plan to visit there this week or next to discuss metals and prices. I’m planning to discuss options of stainless steel, aluminum, and copper. If too pricey, I’ll ask about mild and galvanized. If I go galvanized, I’ll work outside with mask.

If I get the metal from them, I hope to also get rivets there and see if they’ll make the longitudinal bends to shape the pole. I don’t have equipment to make the proper bends at home. Then I can rest/clamp it on a simple jig so I can cut the characters. Thinking jig will be 2×4 slipped through the length of the bent metal and clamped to sawhorses.

Mind if I ask a couple more questions?
What gauge would you recommend? Would gauge vary by type of metal?
Also, is it appropriate to use some kind of Dremel bit to cut out the characters? Would the shape of the characters make it too difficult to use hand or power snips?

Thank you!

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