From Tube Steel to “Dancing Arches”

Recently, Chicago Metal Rolled Products assisted with the forming of rolled tube steel for a unique project.  We were approached by artist and designer Randy Walker of Walker Design Studio for assistance in bringing his vision for a public art installation to life.  The sculpture, entitled “Dancing Arches”, was a partially crowd-funded project which raised over $30,000 through Kickstarter on the behalf of the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The initial scope of the project was to include multiple arches of elliptical curvature.  The constantly changing radial dimensions of each arch presented a challenge.  No two arches were identical, and the overall size would make constructing and shipping these in single pieces impossible.  Working with the artist, CMRP was able to come up with a plan for forming the steel tubes that would reduce labor and material costs, while still allowing the final fabrication of the pieces to proceed quickly.

In the end, CMRP was able to locate radial measurements to construct each arch from 3 pieces.  The outer legs were made in identical sets with tangent lengths, and a capstone piece of a sharper radius completes the arch.  CMRP labelled the pieces so the end fabricator could assemble them and complete the transformation from straight tube steel to a work of art.

Curved Tubes with Straight Tangents
Curved Capstone Tubes

The piece has a lot to say for itself.  The archways provide a colorful and playful addition to the local park where they are installed.  The artist, Randy Walker had this to say, “The sculpture turned out fantastic.  I am truly fortunate to have Chicago Metal Rolled Products handle the forming of the steel.”

Multiple Colorful Arches of Elliptical Curvature

Having the artist involve a rolling company early in the process was definitely beneficial to the end product.  We were able to work together to leap over potential hurdles in order to provide a new, and lasting, piece of public art for this community.


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