We were happy with the outcome of this project, and, most importantly, our customer was, too," says Tony Cole of Custom Metals, Inc., the fabricator of the sculpture.
Fox Valley Technical College, located in Appleton, Wisconsin, wanted a large-scale sculpture to place behind the concierge desk of the new Student Success Center. The “Tree of Success” sculpture, representing the educational journey and personal growth and success of students, resulted from a collaborative effort between students at FVTC, architects, contractors and Banker Wire.
To encourage students to visit the desk, the sculpture needed to stand out beneath a large skylight in the two-story space. Designers and architects created a sculpture of a large tree. Students in FVTC's Wood Manufacturing Technology program designed and built its stump with the wood from a large oak tree removed during the center's construction, and Banker Wire I-188 mesh forms its foliage.
Eppstein Uhen Architects Inc. specified Banker Wire’s I-188 weave to recreate the appearance of the greenery on a thriving tree. The undulations on this intercrimp weave mirror the natural structure of tree branches. This versatile metal fabric, which can be woven from a huge variety of alloys, was woven in copper for the Tree of Success. The natural patina of the copper mesh was chemically accelerated to a green color, further evoking the leaves on trees.
The I-188 metal mesh is a very open weave, with a 79.8 percent open area. Its openness allows the intricate stonework behind the sculpture to show through, rather than being completely obscured. Most importantly, the architectural woven wire mesh is a perfect canvas on which to hang the Tree of Success’ “leaves.”
Fox Valley Technical College invited students to describe success in one word. Their words became the “leaves” of tree, which are now hung from the woven wire mesh. Thanks to the Banker Wire mesh, the leaves can be moved or changed as the college evolves – allowing the tree to serve as a metaphor for its continued growth.