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And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188218 09/06/05 12:47 AM
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Harry Hine woke up one morning a few weeks ago and said "I've got a GREAT idea!"

"Let's create a Harbour Lights sculpture during the reunion."

And it WAS a great idea. For the first time ever, we got to meet and talk to two 'behind the scenes' people. One a sculptor and mold (mould) maker and his wife, an origination painter.

If you count the mysterious "C.R. Curtis" whose name appears hidden on a few early pieces. This is just the second person we know of behind the 'Oz Curtain' that is Harbour Lights.

And so Harry called up Rick and Christiana Hayles in the UK and talked them into dropping whatever they were working on and flying into the USA for a week or more to create Cheboygan Crib light.


Rick and Christiane Hayles and Harry Hine share a laugh.

Rick got a bit of a start on the tower and on trees before flying over, but reserved the sculpting of the base for taking place at the reunion.

And during dinner on Monday night, any attendee who wanted to could add their 'touch' to the base. Rick was ever patient as several hundred unsteady hands used Rick's tools to add 'sand' or 'waves' to the base.


'RIP' Puls makes his mark where Rick points on the wax sculpture of the base.

Late Monday night, Rick and Harry decided it was time to make the mold for the base. Harry came to the Mission Point bar to recruit some 'witnesses' and they demonstrated what could go wrong with a vacuum pump in front of a half-dozen of us.


Rick measures out the silicon on a bar scale scrounged from the hotel sometime after midnight.


A 'Super' fast ingredient is added to make the silicon set up faster than normal.


Like mixing a cake, the ingredients are stirred up -- which introduces unwanted air bubbles into the mixture.


A vacuum chamber with a clear top is used to force any air trapped in the mixture out before pouring it over the mold. Harry was having trouble getting the clear top to seal with the rubber gasket; he tried standing on top of it.

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188219 09/06/05 01:13 AM
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Finally, the air bubbles were 'boiled' out of the material, assuring a perfect mold when they poured the viscous silicon over the wax sculpture of the base.


The sculpted base is at the bottom of the container. The different colors are two different kinds of wax.

It HAD to work because usually the sculpture is ruined when the mold is made.


Rick pours the silicon mixture into the container.

Next morning, the mold was peeled away from the wax sculpture and after cleaning out the wax bits in the flexible mold, it was time to make four castings.


The next morning, Harry Hine shows off the casting of the base made late Monday night.


Christiane painted the base and tower following photographs of the real light. As she painted, she talked to anyone who had a question.

It was truly a grand performance on both Rick and Christiane's part.

We found out that HL relies on other sculptors in the UK, in Taiwan and in Australia. Rick is the one person who does most of the mold making (except the Australian does his/hers.)

Finally the parts were mated after painting and some hand-made metal railings were added.

It was an extremely interesting process to watch and the finished 'one-of-a-kind' original was auctioned on Thursday morning. It went for $5,500. I anticipated it would bring over twice that, but several of the 'big bidders' sat on their hands during this one.


Here's the finished piece.

Rick was also working on El Morro Lighthouse in Puerto Rico which was chosen by the winner of the 2005 "Choose a Lighthouse" contest.

Harry, it WAS a FANTASTIC idea! If only we'd have had a video camera!

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188220 09/06/05 02:01 AM
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I think many of us had wondered how HL's were made for years. I find the photos and narration in this thread extremely interesting. Thank you so much for sharing!

smile Bob smile

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188221 09/06/05 04:30 AM
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John
Great report and pictures


DANIEL
Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188222 09/06/05 01:11 PM
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Awesome, John. I always wondered how HL's were made. Very cool!

Cathy laugh

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188223 09/06/05 02:15 PM
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Good report and very interesting pictures. Especially the technology used to seal the vaccum pump that Harry used.


Rich
Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188224 09/14/05 01:51 AM
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Those are amazing photos. It would have been great to see that in person.

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188225 09/20/05 09:55 PM
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It was very interesting to see the mold making
process up close!
Before I moved to Florida I owned a ceramic studio in New England and was comparing the two.
The ceramic molds are made of plaster of paris.


Kay
Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188226 09/21/05 01:32 PM
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I hope that sometime in the future HL could probably put out a story and pictures of the process of putting together a piece for distribution. Maybe it could be done as a series in the LEGACY. Sure would be interesting. These few pictures showed a lot but I'd love to see more, especially how all the different pieces eventually come together.

Bert smile


Bert

No mountain is too tall if your first step is belief. -Anonymous
Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188227 09/21/05 02:58 PM
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Bert - right now we're planning to include a photo story in the December Lighthouse Legacy.

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188228 10/22/05 04:58 AM
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John, you are absolutely right about the "OZ curtain". It was great to see Christiane and Rick at work and to get to talk to them about their craft. And then, there was Harry. It was about time that he was given some of the limelight, too. He is such a delightful person. I think the whole reunion experience was much more personal this time because there were fewer participants. Of course, I can only compare it with Maryland which was HUGE! I'm looking forward to the December Legacy.


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Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188229 12/02/05 04:05 PM
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Has anybody heard an update on ther shipping status of the Cheyboyagn Reunion piece?

Mike

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188230 12/05/05 10:16 PM
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Our credit card was charged late last week for the Cheboygan Crib lighthouse that we signed up for during the reunion.

Speaking with HL today, it was mentioned that the lighthouses are in and waiting to be signed, and shipment should occur next week! cool

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188231 12/06/05 12:02 AM
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Thanks for the great news! I switched over to my bank account and sure enough - was debited by HL on Dec. 2. What a nice Christmas present - if it really ships next week.


beachcomber
Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188232 12/09/05 02:22 PM
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It is a shame we live so far from these re-unions. Would have LOVED to have seen this process! Amazing to see the pictures and read the very interesting story about how this light was made!
Thanks for taking the trouble!!!


Margret
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Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188233 12/11/05 12:04 AM
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Another one has sneaked by me! If anyone might have a duplicate/spare Cheboygan Crib lighthouse that she/he would be willing to part with [for reimbursement, of course!], I'd appreciate having a shot at it [the opportunity, not the lighthouse!].

Thanks!

Danny

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188234 12/11/05 03:31 AM
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Margret - the story of the making of a Harbour Lights is a two-page feature in the next Lighthouse Legacy - probably out early this coming week.

With the big announcement, lots of other things go pushed back a bit.

Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... #188235 12/11/05 12:44 PM
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Thanks John, sadly I don't get the Lighthouse Legacy (I am actually not a member of the Collectors Club frown as the purse strings don't allow too many memberships)
All the news about HL is interesting. I hope HL survives in great shape and Don will make itbetter - if that is possible!!


Margret
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Re: And Harbour Lights pulls back the curtain... [Re: Webmaster] #207450 07/07/12 09:03 PM
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Thanks Rick Mau for posting a link to this thread about the making of Cheboygan Crib Light during the 2005 Reunion. It brought back great memories.

Here's a link to the December 2005 Lighthouse Legacy (72 dpi lo-res) with the 2 page story about the making of Cheboygan Crib. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/16549730/legacy_72dpi.pdf

Once the PDF appears on your screen, right-click on it and choose "Save" to retain a copy of the full issue on your computer.


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