Questions? Hopefully we've got answers!
What kinds of conditions do I need for a wind sculpture?
Our wind sculptures are well-suited for a wide variety of climates and outdoor environments. One reason why we offer so many sizing options is to ensure our clients have a variety of sculpture options to suit their individual needs. Wind is a variable entity, and oftentimes unpredictable; your kinetic sculpture will move in concert with the wind, from slow and calm rotations to more energetic spins and swirls.
Our sculptures that move in two opposite directions (such as the Orb) will not always have both parts moving in concert. When wind increases, you will see the blades, like sails, will catch enough wind to move them in the other direction. You’ll want to place your kinetic sculpture in a spot that’s not in a “wind shadow,” or area with tall trees, dense vegetation, and walls or fences: in short, attributes which potentially hamper wind flow and may interfere with optimal conditions for your sculpture’s movement.
I’m not very technically gifted…will I be able to install a wind sculpture by myself or do I need to hire someone to help me?!
In almost all cases, people tell us they were pleasantly surprised by the ease of setting up their wind sculptures. Your purchase includes everything you'll need to install your sculpture: the pole, ground stake, and hardware. Your sculpture will arrive in two packages: a PVC pipe which contains the pole and ground stake; and a box which contains your wind sculpture. Once your ground stake is inserted into the ground, your pole slips over it and gets tightened with a set screw; next, your sculpture goes on top! With the exception of monumental sculptures (e.g. the 13 foot tall Blooming Lily 3), most of our kinetic works can easily be installed by one person. Instructions included in your shipment will guide you in the installation process, but if you do have any questions, feel free to call us at 505.982.2073.
I want to purchase a wind sculpture for my wife’s birthday—which is in two weeks! Any chance you can make one that quickly?
We understand that last-minute gifts are sometimes the best ones! Typically we tell our clients that sculptures take 3 weeks for fabrication and delivery. This varies, of course, based on the complexity of the sculpture you choose and on your location. If you are crunched for time, we will do the best we can to speed up your order.
Where are these sculptures manufactured?
We make all of our kinetic wind sculptures here in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, about five miles away at our studio. This allows us to have hands-on, excellent customer service, and to provide our clients with sculptures of the highest quality. We’re proud to be on Canyon Road, and proud to make our artwork here in our city.
What do I do in the event of a big storm?
Mark White’s wind sculptures are made to withstand winds of up to 100 mph—and incidentally will usually start moving with winds of just one mile per hour! That being said, we always advice common sense when it comes to storms and extreme weather conditions. If your area is facing a coming hail storm, or a strong, sustained snowstorm, it’s relatively simple to remove your sculpture from the pole it rests on, enabling you to bring the sculpture indoors for the duration of extreme weather. In most cases, your sculpture will do fine with heavy rain and snow (yes, even heavy snow! Click here to check out a super snowy Trancer.)
Will my stainless steel rust?
The stainless steel that is used for bearings and other places where hardened parts are necessary have increased carbon content and are mildly magnetic. The rust you may notice will wipe off with a mildly abrasive cloth (like the scrubbing part of the back of a kitchen sponge.)
When this occurs it’s due to fine particles of steel from the machining of the thread rod and tubing that accumulate in various places from rain and condensation when the sculpture is first exposed to elements. After wiping this off a few times it will no longer accumulate. You may rest assured that all parts are of the highest quality stainless steel.
Will the color patina fade over time?
We like to tell people that the color patina we use is analogous to a patina on a bronze sculpture – which is to say, long-lasting and made to withstand outdoor conditions. The color patina is actually thermally applied to the kinetic sculpture’s copper blades. (This process is done by hand, so no two blades will look alike.)
Like the paint on a car, over time the patina on your kinetic sculpture will slightly fade, as any metal exposed to the elements will after a period of years. Also like a car, our color patina blades respond beautifully to annual applications of car wax, such as Turtle Wax or any other brand that has carnauba oil, applied with soft terry cloth. We are happy to provide our clients with touch-up kits of patina, which can be applied to spots that have faded after several years. For our clients who live in close proximity to salt water, we apply a clear, protective epoxy coat to protect the color patinas against exposure to salt air.
Will the verdigris patina change color?
Verdigris is the natural patina of copper. Depending on your environment, the patina may turn brownish green or it may turn a brighter green. It’s a natural, organic process, which we think enhances the uniqueness of each sculpture. All of Mark White’s sculptures are made by humans and will never be completely uniform.
Will both sides of my Trancer (or any other sculpture that has counter-rotating parts) always move at the same time?
Not always. Mark White's sculptures are powered by the often-capricious movements of the wind, rather than by a motor or other man-made instrument. When it comes to wind sculpture models whose blades are oriented in two different directions, it's natural that one side will sometimes catch more wind than the other. High winds will make both sides spin effectively.
Do these sculptures squeak when they move in the wind?
Your sculpture will be completely silent unless it gets dirt or dust build-up around the bearings (the parts which spin.) Please do not lubricate the sculpture. That will not solve the problem. You can either let it work itself out, or spray the moving parts with water from your garden hose. This will help clean everything out and should take care of the issue.