(6) Installation day

August 26, 2011

With the 3 foot "happy gator" finally installed on the wall at the Calusa Nature Center, the butterfly installation is finally beginning to look like what I designed in my head almost a month ago. The butterflies are absolutely beautiful but the addition of the large alligator makes the entire design more fun!

The installation

I began the day with the big alligator in two pieces. I was working on it on a large piece of cardboard so I had to peel it away from the plastic wrap and trim the excess mesh away.

Happy Gator before installation © 2011 Eve Lynch

Then I covered the back with thinset and applied the tail end to the wall. Then I did the same for the head piece being careful to line up the pieces. I left about an inch of wall space underneath the alligator because I didn't want the mosaic to ever be in danger of sitting in standing water.

Below is a photo of the alligator on the wall. You can still see a small gap between where I joined the tail and head together.

Happy Gator installation © 2011 Eve Lynch

I filled the gap with stained glass to complete the mosaic.

Here's the finished "happy gator"...

Happy Gator installation © 2011 Eve Lynch

Happy Gator after installation © 2011 Eve Lynch
When you see the butterfly cloud with the alligator underneath it from far away, it makes more sense now...well, as much sense as a large reptile dreaming of butterflies can make!
Happy Gator after installation © 2011 Eve Lynch

Here's a shot of the finished installation from far away. It's hard to miss with all that glittering glass and mirror.

Happy Gator installation © 2011 Eve Lynch

After I installed the big alligator, I added two more butterflies to the cloud above him. One was Danette Polglase's small butterfly (the lime green and blue one right above the alligator's eye). It was just the right size for the bottom of the swarm.

© 2011 Eve Lynch
I also added my son Gator's Dragon-fly.  It's one of my favorite mosaic butterflies!

© 2011 Eve Lynch / Gator Lynch

© 2011 Eve Lynch
After lunch I installed almost all of the remaining butterflies (I have 3 left!) on the two side walls.

Artist Stef Lach's mirrored butterfly on the bottom right...

© 2011 Eve Lynch
And five more butterflies on the bottom of this wall.
© 2011 Eve Lynch
There were two butterflies that were donated from artist Sharon Olson and Jessie Kuhlman that were created on a cottony mesh. The mesh was so lightweight and flexible that it allowed me to curve their butterflies around the rounded corner of one of the side walls.

© 2011 Eve Lynch

© 2011 Eve Lynch

To round off the day I added artist Cindy White's soda pop top butterflies to the walls. They were inspired by her young grandson and they garnered quite a bit of attention!

© 2011 Eve Lynch
And I installed a business card holder that I filled with special Butterfly Project business cards that list the blog URL so visitors can read all about the project and the generous artists that donated their time and talent.

Artist Wesley Wong's fused glass butterfly sits just above it.

© 2011 Eve Lynch
And now for the animal pics...!

Furry and scaly Calusa Nature Center inhabitants

My all time fave Buffalo Bill, the Sulcata Tortoise. He was abandoned by an owner that could no longer care for him. He's gentle and surprisingly fast when he walks his laps around his enclosure every morning.

Buffalo Bill © 2011 Eve Lynch

Freedom the Bald Eagle...she was hit by a car and can no longer live in the wild. I have a pair of Bald Eagles that live in my neighborhood. They are some of the most amazing birds. Their bright yellow talons are seriously scary!

Freedom the Bald Eagle © 2011 Eve Lynch

Perry the Prairie Dog...I love this little guy! He rolls around the center during the day in a giant hamster ball.

Perry the Prairie Dog © 2011 Eve Lynch
Banded Water Snake...a new addition to the nature center. These are common in Florida and are sometimes confused with the venomous Water Moccasin.

Banded Water Snake © 2011 Eve Lynch

And last but not least, the center's Rainbow Boa, an exotic snake native to Central & South America. She/he is moving to another refuge soon so Adam, the center's Education Director, was transferring her to a more suitable container for traveling.

The snake had a beautiful chocolate brown pattern but the species gets the name 'Rainbow Boa" from their iridescent sheen, shown in this photo from Wikipedia.

Looks just like iridized glass!

I'll be back at the center sometime tomorrow afternoon to work on getting the last few butterflies on the wall and to start grouting the two side walls full of butterflies.

More progress pics to follow!

1 comment:

  1. It looks fabulous! Can't imagine the butterflies without the alligator now!


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