Monday, June 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye Too Soon

(91098E) - The Belugas ©


(91098E) - The Belugas - detail ©

I wasn't ready for the phone call today. It was one of those things you just don't expect. This one was from the museum at Cornell, letting us know that one of our platters had fallen from the wall and was now cracked into multiple pieces. They wanted us to come to the museum to figure out an alternative way of hanging the remaining platters. So Aurora and I went, having no idea which platter it was that had fallen. It was 91098E- the Belugas. Aurora's favorite platter.

Walking into the gallery was almost like walking by the scene of a car accident. Everything was just stopped. Turns out the bolts we use for hanging are designed to anchor into studs. The museum's walls are 1.5" of plywood.... which just happens to be about the amount of bare smooth bolt beyond the threads of our anchors. So the platter rotated the bolt and it slid... crashing down to the floor and leaving a nasty dent in the hardwood to boot!

I have to give the museum staff credit. They did all the right things. From the very outset, they had asked us how best to hang these platters. They even wanted our input as to how they should be hung as a series on the wall. When the platter went smash, the first thing they did was pull ALL the other platters down until they could figure out WHY it happened and what could be done. Then they called us. Very professional. We spoke with nearly everyone involved in this show, from the folks doing the hanging to the curators, to the registrar. Everyone was in the same sort of shock that Aurora and I were in. Nancy was still at work but had heard via phone about this and was pretty worked up too.

We've since come up with a solution, thanks to Will and George. Looks like we'll be cutting an eyebolt into a new shape, since eyebolts have threads all the way to the wall's edge. Excellent pullout strength too. So, tomorrow I will take another platter up the hill in hopes of filling the space this platter left vacant. No platter can replace another. No amount of compensation can make up for the loss. It isnt about loss ... at this point, it is just about grieving. Here's to the Beluga Platter.

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