They said it couldn’t be done
When I got the call from the architect, he told me he wanted my input on a job they were working on in New York. It was for a piece that would hang from the ceiling in a 90 foot building.
It was to be called the Light Of Nations. It was 68 feet long by 12 foot in diameter. The perimeter was to have three sets of intersecting rings, with 8 foot strands of crystal beads spaced 1 inch apart (you do the math). At the center was a spiral column of beads 45 foot long that had to turn at about 6 RPM And here’s the kicker the owners wanted to put a Christmas tree under it so we had to be able to raise and then lower the center column of beads when the tree was gone. Electrically and mechanically you would think it would be an easy task, but they said they were told it couldn’t be done. of course and true to form I said why not? I don’t see a problem here. So they said if you can get this to work you’ve got the job.And of course as it turned out the problem wasn’t easily solved. It’s no problem raising and lowering the column or turning it independently. But the two together was a problem. What you wind up with is a bunch of twisted wires. So after much brain crunching, I finally came up with a solution. I came in from overhead with the wires that connected to an electric rotating coupling device. All I had to do was mount the lift mechanism to a heavy duty turntable driven by a 1/4 horsepower gear motor and carefully line up the rotary electrical connector. It was perfect.
The next Item on the list were the bubbles in shades of Red, orange and yellow to clear. Making them was a no brainier, But they wanted each bubble to have a country name on it. in Platinum. After much research I decided to go with a decal. They were actually made with platinum ink.I found a company in Germany to do it. We did the research and came up with what was at the time 208 countries. I was amazed at just how often countries changed. from the start of the job to the end three countries had come and gone.
The above photo shows the Light of nations with some missing strands of beads. One day in October They decided to open all the buildings front doors, a gust of wind came through blowing the turning center columns beads into the stationary outer beads causing a bit of a tangle. The problem has since been corrected by weighting the bottoms of the center columns strings of beads.