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  • In the axis additional west from the Monolith is a Sundial, finished around 1930, and eventually the Wheel of life, modelled in 1933 34. The wheel is a symbol of perpetuity and is here performed as a garland of kids, girls and men holding on to each other. In a sense, this sculpture sums up the sensational subject of the whole park: Guy's journey from birth to grave, through despair and happiness, through dream, hope and wishes of perpetuity.

    Clay was Vigeland?s selected content. In soft clay he could work fast, and it was thus a great medium for inspiration and his great energy. He'd freehand model the full scale sculptures based on little three dimensional sketches. He sometimes used a grid to direct him, as when he sculpted the full size clay model for The Wheel of Life (see picures revealing the procedure).

    The Wheel of Life was modelled between September 1933 and February 1934. Subsequently a master copy was cast in plaster. The process of plaster molding is called waste because the mould is chiselled away to release the master copy moulding. 

    Vigeland started by making a small scale model of the Wheel of Life. His smiths made an iron armature in full scale: three metres in diameter. They limit the clay to prevent when the sculpture was built up around the armature from stealing. Vigeland modelled by hand, but used several kinds of tools that were basic. Points from the plaster sketch were transferred to the clay model using a meter rule, the grid and callipers. Eventually the sculpture was reworked with finer tools to reach the desirable surface.

    While the clay was still soft and moist, thin metal plates (shims) were adhered into the clay surface of the sculpture before it was covered with a thin layer of coloured plaster. The shims broken up the plaster mould that was to be made into a primary mould and several small moulds from the clay original. Subsequently an armature support was made by turning iron bars and attaching them with plaster to the various components, before more plaster, (uncoloured) was put over the first layer of plaster. The outer edges of the shims could subsequently be seen as seams in the surface of the mould.

    The small moulds were marked before they were prised loose with the aid of several types of thin specialist tools and water. The clay was subsequently dug out of the primary mould. Later the interior iron armature was removed. All the small moulds and the primary mould were cleaned and reassembled. The cast mould was prepared to be used.

    The interior of the mould was coated with a release agent and then covered with an about two cm layer of plaster. The plaster cast sacking and was strengthened with wooden supports. When the plaster place, the mould was hacked away with wooden mallet and a dull chisel. The result was a master copy identical to the clay original.

    Despite the work on the Wheel of Life being technically challenging, Vigeland was pleased with the result and is quoted as saying ?I've never been as realized as I'm now.? Source of advice: Vigeland Museum Website




    Gustav Vigeland (11 April 1869 ? 12 March 1943), né Adolf Gustav Thorsen, was a Norwegian sculptor. Gustav Vigeland occupies an unique position among Norwegian sculptors in his productivity and in the power of his creative imagination. He's most correlated with the Vigeland facility (Vigelandsanlegget) in Frogner Park, Oslo. He was the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal.

    The Vigeland Park is the world's biggest sculpture park is one of Norway's most popular tourist attractions, and made by just one artist. The park is open throughout the year to visitors.
    The unique sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland's lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Vigeland was in charge of the architectural and design layout of the park. The Vigeland Park was largely finished between 1939 and 1949.
    Most of the sculptures are set in five units along an 850 meter long axis: The Chief gate, the Bridge with the Children's playground, the Fountain, the Monolith tableland and the Wheel of Life.


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