Local artist creates ‘wave’ wall sculpture for coastal home

Artist Dan Freeman poses in front of his rock wave sculpture which he was asked to design and fabricate in order to cover some unsightly drain-pipe holes along a beach wall in Freeland.

He calls it “the big wall.”

That’s sculptor Dan Freeman’s term for a 100-foot-long, wavy, rock-basket sculpture he created along a concrete wall on the beach side of a house in Freeland.

“It went through several permutations as far as the design goes,” the artist said.

But then the client settled on a design that would take the artist about six months to complete and includes a steel basket full of native rocks.

“I built a 20-foot-long table in my shop and drew the design on panels that I fabricated the wall piece out of,” Freeman said.

Each panel was drawn on the table with chalk, transferred to the steel, cut to shape and welded.

“I bought the steel grid and cut the pieces up. I laid the steel pieces on top of that and followed the pattern with a steel cutter and cut the pieces out and made this kind of envelope with the top and bottom pieces.”

Once all the panels and brackets were made, Freeman drilled 215 holes in the concrete to anchor the piece to the wall.

“So it sort of floats there,” he said, “

The rocks are Whidbey Island glacial till.

After the basket was finished, he hired a crane and lowered four cubic yards of rock in metal baskets down onto the side of the house and then he and his team hauled them down by hand to the beach. Freeman then created a handmade chute to get the rocks into the envelope of the wave grid.

The customer found the artist while browsing his work on the Whidbey Island Studio Tour and told him about the “big, ugly, concrete wall” in the front of their house on the beach.

There were about 13 big drain pipes to cover.

“They were just ghastly,” Freeman said, “And I love a challenge. Who doesn’t love a challenge?”

Freeman shows his work regularly at the Rob Schouten Gallery at Greenbank Farm. His work is also featured this month in the Garden Show at MUSEO gallery in downtown Langley.

Check out more of the artist’s work at http://homing.elementalartwork.com.