Sail Art

About a year ago I was approached with an idea for a functional art project that was constructed entirely out of recycled windsurf sails. I gladly accepted the assignment.
When I mentioned this project my girlfriend Karen Lang of “North Shore Kite and Sail Repair” she was very excited and eager to help on a consulting basis.  Karen has been involved in the sail industry for nearly three decades. Karen also helped with the acquiring of the recycled sails. She made calls to various windsurf shop owners and windsurf equipment manufacturers based here on Maui. The response was great and we acquired enough recycled sails to do the project.

 I can’t take credit for the Idea but I was allowed to design it and it was up to me to figure out how to construct it.
 The idea was to create an effect like that of a beach that was haphazardly littered with windsurf sails. Much the same as Hookipa looks when a large wave sailing event is under way.

Not only did this art piece need to be constructed but it had to be simple to install, simple to remove and this had to be done in a matter of minutes. It also had to be stored conveniently and compactly.
My first task was to divide the distance into manageable increments. Once that calculation was made the frames were designed and we went into production.
Fortunately I had the perfect place to lay the entire assembly out in one piece. It was important not to break the continuity of this flowing mosaic.
Layout was the next challenge and I tried several different arrangements before the desired effect was achieved.

   Once the layout pattern was agreed on I had to come up with a plan to cut this massive and unstable piece of material into individual panels.

I designed a simple and mobile scaffold plank system that was only inches above my work so I had no problem accessing the task area.   After thinking about my options, I decided on a four inch grinder with a cutoff wheel as my cutting tool.  This little machine cleanly cut through the multiplelayers of materials with very little resistance

The panels were temporarily fastened to the frames. I cut them out and I stacked and stored them in a convenient place.
One by one we addressed the bonding of the often many layers of sail material with a selection of adhesives and  high tech sail making materials.
Our next hurdle was the actual onsite installation of the panels. This was no easy chore.
I am fairly proud of this unique piece and pleased to share it with you.