/*
NamePlate
HOMECOLLECTIONSMUSEUMEVENTSMEMBERSHIPCONTACT USNEWS
 

"The Spirit of Finland" Emerges

(as the process begins from its conceptualization stages)

Sculptor Ken Valimaki, a graduate of the Fairport Harding High School Class of 1955, offered to
kenvalimakidesign a sculpture soon after the dedication of the Finnish Heritage Museum during the summer of 2007, in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The idea had lain dormant until last spring when discussion  began among the membership about the possibility of doing more to commemorate Finnish immigrants who had settled in Fairport Harbor and its surrounding area. Ken Valimaki was contacted and was still interested in designing a sculpture for the museum.    See Sculptor's statement here.

The idea was presented to the Museum council and a number of different concept models were shown and discussed. After discussion, the "one" was chosen as the art form the group wanted.  manymodels

Another item of importance was the placement of the sculpture. The decision made was to place it right in front of the museum's massive window so it could be seen inside and out.  It will be highlighted by spotlights at night.

The concept to erect the sculpture in front of the museum was embraced by the membership and received approval from the  Fairport Harbor Village Council.  Letters of support were also received from Village officials.

WsagainsW

 

 

 

 

 

The sculpture has been named the “Spirit of Finland”. In a broader sense, its purpose is to honor the innumerable achievements of Finnish immigrants who have come to the United States and through their resilience, persistence and endurance have left a lasting legacy of which successive generations of Finnish-Americans can be proud.

 

In the photo to the left, imagine the sculpture without the white window standing in front of the "real" window.

 

 

 

 

The Finnish Heritage Museum has an anonymous donor who will match our donations, up to $10,000.

 

Wspirit.png

The next series of pictures show our sculptor Ken Valimaki working with his group to produce the individual pieces which will comprise the "Spirit of Finland."  Pieces are transferred from Ken's concept model and drawn on actual sheets of aluminum.  Those pieces are then laser cut to provide sharp, exact edges.

SSA1

Ken Valimaki discusses the model with members of the crew designated to carry out the task of cutting, shaping, and welding the pieces together to actually make the spirit alive.  Straight and boxed pieces are one thing, but fabricating curvilinear shapes of varying sizes is quite another.  Note:  all technical photos provided by Ken Valilmaki and Kin Yu, an associate.

SS1

Starting with six sheets of  50/52 aluminum, 5 feet by 10 feet , and 3/16 of an inch thick, the intricate work begins with discussion of the CAD pattern shapes which will be cut out using a CNC plasma cutter.

SS3A

Some of the flat stock has now been cut into the respective curved shapes.  Sculptor Ken Valimaki is second from the right in the Finn Blue shirt.

SS4A

While Ken keeps an ever watchful eye, the shapes begin to take formafter being "rolled" and formed by hand.  To do this step, each piece has to be rolled and re-rolled to its ultimate shape as dictated by the model and of course, Ken.

SS6

Roll and re-roll to get the right shape.

SS7

Let's stack these up.  The pile grows, the sculpture takes shape.

SS9

After the first shapings, Ken inspects the work.

SS10

Now comes another step in the process. Ken selects the pieces to be welded together to get them to resemble the shapes that Ken has shown in the "working model."  It's another day in the process.

SS11

A welder uses the most advanced welding technique to join two sections together.  He uses a process called "stitch welding" which is a bead about two to three inches long.

SS12

Practically dwarfed by the fourteen foot section, Ken and his associate hold the tallest section in an up-right position.  All four standing shapes will also be connected at the top, 

SS13

The MIG welding continues, with each section welded to its matching half.

SSB1

Ken surveys the "pile" of parts which will be assembled into a work of art.

SSB2

By themselves, the pieces are just pieces and need the vision of the sculptor.

SSB3

The welding is painstakingly slow, but out of necessity.

SSB4

The tools called web clamps, come in handy to clamp/hold together parts that are not "regular" in shape.

SSB5

Leading edges are carefully inspected and ground to provide a visually pleasant, artistic brim.

SSB6

The semi-circular shape suggestive of the sun and perhaps another well-known arch is held up by Ken' associate, Kin Yu.

SSB9

The sixth piece of the sculpture is being welded by Bob Destefano (Engineer).

SSC1

This photo shows the roughly assembled placement of "scape" with Bob Destafano and Mike Liscano.

SSC2

Mike Liscano and Ken Valimaki address the critical issue of placement.

SSC3

Vertical pieces set in position  with Mike Liscano, Ken Valimaki, and Bob Destafano.

SSD1

Vertical pieces being set and welded together by Bob Destafano.

SSD2

Vertical pieces being adjusted in place by Bob Destafano, Kin Yu, and Ken Valimaki.

SSD3

Rough placement for ground pieces with Kin Yu standing backside for scale.

SSD4

Mike Liscano and Artist Ken Valimaki refining and polishing the sculpture pieces for the effect that Ken wants.

SSG1

Pictures to date:  July 9, 2013.   MORE pictures will be posted as they become available. 

New postings of pictures July 16, 2013

Members of the Spirit of Finland Sculpture Committee recently visited Ken Vallimaki and his associates in the Columbus studio where they all discussed various aspects of the art. Shown below (left to right) are Heikki Penttila, Lasse Hiltunen, Ken Valimaki, Ken Quiggle, and Ken Liscano.  Photos by Kin Yu.

SF1

Another view  proves to be equally interesting.

Lasse and Ken discuss sculpture finish....shiney or matte?

SF4

More discussion about finishes with Pentti Maki and Ken.

SF5

The discussion leads to critical issues involving placement into the base which is yet to be started.  The important item is distance from the building and window, restricted by the existing sidewalk.

SF6

Below is the Ken Valimaki creative team which has been together doing projects for twenty five years. 

(left to right) Ken Liscano, Ken Valimaki, and Kin YU.

SF7

The Finnish Heritage Museum Sculpture team below:  (left to right) Chairman, Pentti Maki, Lasse Hiltunen, Heikki Penttila, and Ken Quiggle.

SFteam

Lasse and Ken with a sample of the aluminum alloy which has both the shiny and brushed finish.  Needed to show the rest of the committee.

SF12

The Spirit Sculpture Team meets to discuss the project.  (left to right) Linda Penttila, Ailiin Andrews, Sharon Mackey, standing: Heikki Penttia, Lasse Hiltunen, Jovette Hiltunen, Ken Quiggle, and Tim Hadden.

SPA1

This picture includes our Chairman, Pentti Maki in lower left corner.

SPA4

Ken Liscano uses a pneumatic grinding wheel with a very fine grit to polish the front surfaces of the sculpture.  This is the final step before re-assembly and the clear-coat finish is applied.

SSG1

The sculpture is ready.  Clear coat is to be applied and delivery date is approaching. Standing behind the Spirit of Finland are from left to right:  Ken Valimaki (artist), Kin Yu, Micheal Liscano, and Bob Destefano.

SSG2

PHASE TWO  SITE PREPARATION

Heikki Penttila, FHM's resident architect on left, and Lasse Hiltunen, FHM president, take the ceremonial first swing and breaking the concrete.  Note: they did not even make a dent in that old stuff.

SSH1

The men of Concord Masonry, left to right:  Ed, George, and Bob begin the demolition of the ancient sidewalk in front of the museum.  Before the real removal can begin, a starter hole has to be broken through, which Incorporates the use of a gas powered concrete saw, an adze, a sledge, and "spud" bar.  Necessary in these operations is of course, well-toned muscles.

SSH1A

Bob expertly wields the bucket, dumping and arranging the load of broken concrete into and on the dumptruck to be then hauled away.

SSH2

Not all the work is easy, with the idea, "let the machine do it!"  No, George has to lift the sixteen pound sledge (affectionately called a mokari in Finnish slang) and slam it down on the concrete slab to break it into smaller pieces.  This is done as Bob lifts the concrete slab slightly so that George's hammer blow can crack the slab.  The bucket cannot accommodate the full slab. 

SSH3

By looking carefully at the picture below, you can see the "ORANGE" outline of the "wall to be."  It also is a guide for digging the footer.

SSH4

George carefully does wall shaving, making for a smooth footer against the existing foundation of the museum.  Bob expertly scoops out the remaining clay.

SSH5

FHM member, and Spirit of Finland Committee member, Ken Quiggle inspects the day's work.  The excavation is safely ensconced with barrels, safety net and pylons.  Tomorrow will see more work.

SSH6

George and Ed check levels and mark the top of the cement pour on  the forms. 

SSH7

Now it's TIME.  When Osborne's concrete truck rolls in with a perfect batch of foundation mix, there is NO time for anything but concrete.  Focus, focus, focus and get the job done.

SSH10

Ed pushes the concrete to the corners so it levels out.

SSH12

In a very, very short while, the mix has been poured and now it is leveling time.

SSH13

Ed and George install short and long re-bars.  These are carefully placed so that they will actually be inside the block and brick serpentine wall.  There are many re-bars in the concrete which will hold it together (not that it was going anywhere!)  Actual brick laying begins tomorrow.  Bricks will be delivered along with a special mix of pale pink colored mortar. 

SSH14

PHASE THREE: CONSTRUCTION OF THE FOUNDATION

Early Friday morning, August 23, the Raymond Builder's Supply Truck from Geneva, OH arrived to unload, three different size/style of cement block, building brick, and mason's sand.  It was amazing to watch the truck get unloaded using a hand-held radio controlled device which the operator guided into the pallets and lifted, swung, and placed all of the items. 

SSH15

Ed of Concord Masonry lays the first block to start the serpentine wall.  Two sets of radii have been drawn into the foundation to guide him while placing the block.   Remember, this is square block making a curved wall.  Many of the blocks had to be cut to accomplish this.

SSH16

Here, Ed and George calculate the eventual height of the wall , taking into account the new brick's dimensions compared with the existing brick wall and the thickness of the mortar in between each course.

SSH16A

Later in the morning, the wall "snakes along" serpentine style headed north to connect to the corner of the building.  While Ed lays the block, George cuts block, makes new mortar, and delivers it, shovel by shovel to the mason's board.  Also worth mentioning, are the lateral rebar supports that were built in while the blocks were being laid.

SSH17

Important to note the white PVC pipes protruding from the bottom of the wall in  five places. The pipes will relieve water from the structure to drain into the soil. 

SSH18

The project rested for the weekend.  This was the last picture taken on Friday, August 23.  The serpentine wall now has three courses of block.

MON1

Monday morning saw these new developments:  the wall was sealed in with a coat of concrete with a sealer in it to prevent rainwater infiltration which will collect in the sculpture base. An asphalt based water-proofing will be applied after the concrete dries.  Also, the brick work begins to rise on top of the blockwork. 

MON2

A frontal view shows the  morning's work.

MON3

Ed Janke makes sure he fills in each cavity with mortar, to make a very strong and secure foundation.

MON4

A frontal view shows the steady progress.

MON5

Ed Janke carefully aligns each brick with its neighbor and with the brick cousins down the line.  There will be a correct triple curve in the serpentine wall.

MON6

George Guk uses a pointer to uniformly "point" the mortar between all of the bricks.

mon7

Ed Janek reaches the other end after a long day of laying both brick and block.  He said, "the most important tool here is the level." 

MON8

Ed takes a breather at day's end, with only 5 courses of brick to finish up this part of the project.  Drainage pipes and tubes are inserted into the end to provide drainage and power for lights.

MON9

On Tuesday, the rains came. The latest course of brick was quickly covered, as well as bags of mortar mix and the stacks of bricks and blocks.

TUE1

Fortunately, the rains were  not severe, and limited themselves to just getting everything wet.  After that, George painted the museum wall with a waterproofing product.

TUE2

The inside cavities are filled with #57 stone before the center  blocks are laid.

TUE2A

By afternoon, the inside block foundation, which will actually secure the sculpture was  blocked up and capped.  The inside course of brick was laid to provide a base for the brick which will "cap" the wall.

TUE3

Progress for Tuesday was excellent.

TUE4

Wednesday saw  both the completion of the top railing course and the center well which holds the stainless steel anchor bolts for the sculpture.

THU1

Shown here are the multiple details of anchoring the sculpture which were co-ordinated by Ken Valimaki, the artist; Heikki Pentilla, the architect; and Ed, the mason from Concord Masonry.

The next step will not take place until next week: the pouring of the concrete to create the sidewalk in front of the sculpture. 

THU2

The important and "stress-filled" Saturday, September 7 saw the box or panel truck pull up to the curb and the fun began.  Carefully backing the sculpture out of the truck, Terry Vale of Harbor Roofing, eases it out., while Ron Boyett watches.  There are men inside the truck walking the front twoards the back.

Wed01

Ron Boyett and Dean of Harbor Roofing, muscle the sculpture upwards to make it stand on its base.

Wed02

Spectators are plentiful while a few strong men do the heavy lifting. This picture taken by Bill Lukshaw.

WEd02a

Once the sculpture was on the "forks" and anchored securley with Dean's weight, Terry carefully backed up, to get a better delivery angle.

wed03

Terry Vale, ever so slowly walked the sculpture to the base.  He lifted the forks so that the sculpture could clear the "lip" of the base.  The problem here is that one slip, could send the sculpture crashing into and perhaps through the huge window. It did not and Terry was able to back away after the base slid onto the pad.

Wed04

The base fit the anchor bolts perfectly, with the holes and bolts in exactly the right place.  Ron Boyett on the right slides the base backwards to make it fit.  Dean Kruk and Heikki Penttila look on.

Wed05

The Artist / Sculptor Ken Valimaki did not even break a sweat. 

Wed05a

 

Dean Kruk of Harbor Roofing fastens the "SUN" onto the base.

Wed06

Kin Yu, a member of the Valimaki team from Columbus applies torque to the nuts

to hold the Spirit in place.

Wed07

The final operation on Saturday was to drape and cover the Spirit until September 15 for the grand unveiling.

 

 

Wed07a

Wrapped and covered, the Spirit awaits the masons to return to lay more concrete in front of the base.

Wed08

Ed Janke and George Guk cut and lay reinforcement mesh  required in concrete sidewalks.

Wed09

After even a brief rainstorm, the masons continued to lay the concrete.

Wed10

Ed brushes on the finishing touch.

Wed11

Wrapped and ready for the celebration. Pictures which follow were taken by Scott Curry.

wrapped1

THE PROGRAM ON SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

THr0000

This part took place in the park, so as many as possible could hear the speaker.

THr00a

The second part took place in front of the Finnish Heritage Museum.

Thr00b

Finnish flags are flying.

THr01

Two happy Finns. Virpi Pakkala Buck and Hely Perttu in national costumes.

THr02

Pastor Pentti Maki talks to our speaker, Rev. Dr. Peter Lillback.

THr02a

Dr. Lillback addresses the group.

THr03a

A short biography

THr03aa

Dr. Lillback really  enjoyed himself while talking about spirit, sisu, and the Finns.

THr04b

FHM President Lasse Hiltunen addressed the crowd.

THr05

The Parade begins.  A short walk down Third Street to the Museum.

THr06

The Crowd gathers.  The FH Police blocked off traffic for safety.  Thanks for their co-opeation.

THr07

Master of Ceremonies Lasse Hiltunen gets the second part of the celebration moving with a hearty welcome and an introduction of the dignitaries in the front row.

THr08

Rev. Pentti Maki gives introduces the Spirit of Finland Committee membes.

THr09

Heikki Penttila, our architect, introduces the Artist Ken Valimaki.

THr10

Ken Valimaki holds the original cardboard model of the sculpture and describes the process of cutting, shaping, joining, welding, and situating the aluminum pieces to the base.  As you know from the pictures above, it was a complicated process.

Thr11

A short Biography

THr12

Ken Valimaki

Thr13

Rev. Pentti Maki, who served as the Chairman of the Spirit of Finland Committee, and Ken Valilmaki dedicate the sculpture.

Thr14

FHM Vice President Ken Quiggle gave closing comments and directions on how audience members could pour "blue" sand on top of the "white" sand in the sculpture base. 

Thr15

THE GRAND UNVEILING

THr16

An artsy picture taken from ground level through the boxwood planted in front of the sculpture.

THr17

Spirit of Finland

THR18

Blue sand in cups on a blue table, adorned with a blue and white bowl and Finland's blue and white flag.

THr19

The children were invited first to pour out  blue sand onto the white.

THr20

Many took part.  Here the Salonens with grandson pour blue sand.

THr21

Charles Hilston came all the way from Minnesota to take part in the ceremony.  Here he too pours blue sand.

THr22

Left to right: Rev. Pentti Maki,  Architect Heikki Penttila, Artist Ken Valimaki, and President Lasse Hiltunen.

THr23

The Spirit Committee.  Left to right:  Ken Quiggle, Ailiin Andrews, Linda McAdams, Rev. Pentti Maki, Ken Valimaki, Lasse Hiltunen, Jovette Hiltunen, Linda Penttila, Heikki Penttila, and Tim Hadden. (not pictured, Sharon O'Janpa Mackey)

THr24

After the ceremony,  the Spirit stands quietly.

THr25

Pictures are to date, through September 15, 2013

Pictures © Finnish Heritage Museum 2013.  Taken by Kin Yu, Lasse Hiltunen, Scott Curry, and Bill Lukshaw. Text by Lasse Hiltunen

If you have a question about this project, send us an email.  Please indicate  Sculpture story question in the email subject line.

The "Spirit of Finland" was unveiled on September 15, 2013 during the Fairport Harbor Community Day festival with a special ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

Luxsci

Web Hosting Services donated by LuxSci, Inc. providing secure web & email hosting services worldwide. Contact: 1.800.441.6612


About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us |

©2014 FINNISH HERITAGE MUSEUM 301 HIGH ST.FAIRPORT HARBOR, OH USA (MODIFIED 2/14/14 11:19)