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"Gazing Ball" Lawn Art
Randy Kurtz of Beaver Dam, Wis., likes to use his plasma cutter to make beautiful, one-of-a-kind lawn art. His most recent creation is this incredible glass gazing ball sculpture.
  “We call it a Glass Pine Ironwood Tree. It’s truly a work of art,” says his wife Lois, who sent FARM SHOW photos and information on the project.
  The tree consists of glass gazing balls attached to a center-mounted metal post by lengths of 1/4-in. dia. bent metal rods that look like flowing vines. The gazing balls range in size from 4 to 10 in. in dia., with colors ranging from red to green, purple and gold. The balls are mounted on metal bases made to look like flower petals, with the petals hand-cut, shaped, bent, and formed so that no two are exactly alike. A metal tube at the center of each group of petals holds the gazing ball and was made by flaring ends of exhaust pipes to fit the curve of the ball.
  A big transparent gazing ball at the top of the tree has a strobe light inside it that flashes on and off. Six solar lights at the bottom of the tree shine up through all the balls. At night, the light bounces from ball to ball casting gentle hues of color.
  A variety of different metal birds and butterflies adorn the tree including cardinals, dragonflies, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
  “It turned out pretty good. I built it because I like to make one-of-a-kind things,” says Randy. “Quite a few people who drive by stop and take photos. I used 43 gazing balls in all – eleven 10-in. balls, fifteen 6-in. balls, and seventeen 4-in. balls. There’s one cardinal, 3 dragonflies, 5 hummingbirds, and 7 butterflies.”
  The flashing strobe light inside the ball on top of the tree is operated by a solar panel hooked up to a 6-volt rechargeable battery, which mounts inside a homemade metal case at the base of the tree. A wire runs from the battery up through the center-mounted post to the strobe light.
  The tree’s center-mounted post slips inside a metal tube that’s buried 6 ft. deep in the ground in a concrete base to keep the frost from shifting it.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Randy Kurtz, N6858 County Hwy. DE, Beaver Dam, Wis. 53916 (ph 920 885-4709; Kurtz@ziemanproductions.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5