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Sculpture "Great Vertical Rhythm" Dons a Bronze-Gold Coat of Paint

Published on 2008-12-08. Author : SpecialChem

MÜNSTER / LANGENFELD / Hof. -- Most of the time, Claus Wohlleben's bodyshop in the heart of Bavaria dedicates its services to spraypainting cars and industrial parts.Recently, however, the team there was presented with a huge challenge.Wohlleben, who relies on paints by BASF Coatings' Glasurit brand, coated a sculpture created by internationally acclaimed artist Heinz Mack.The project is entitled "Great Vertical Rhythm." Made of steel, it weighs in at 12.5 tons and is 16.5 meters long."It was a mighty challenge, especially when it came to logistics.After all, the surface of the sculpture is 20 times larger than that of a passenger car," said Wohlleben.

The sculpture is now on display on a public square in the town of Langenfeld, located between Düsseldorf and Cologne.Two auto cranes were used to optimally position the stele at its place of honor in the city center.The upper edge of the sculpture is formed by a glass cube that reflects daylight like a prism.In its brilliant metallic gold finish, the sculpture is absolutely radiating."The color clearly sets the sculpture apart from the gray backdrop of its surroundings.It's true that steel is often perceived as cold.The paint, however, makes it appear bronze," Mack explained.

The journey from the first stop at the bodyshop to the ceremonious unveiling of the work was a long one.Four members of the Wohlleben bodyshop team, a master painter and three experienced journeymen, invested over 400 hours in the complex project.Prior to application, the mill scale was blasted from the surface of the steel construction."Such imperfections occur during the steel manufacturing process," Wohlleben said.The paint experts then applied a Glasurit epoxy primer,which provides corrosion protection by preventing rust.Afterward, the painters applied solid Glasurit body filler to the sculpture.Liquid body filler was used to even out the surface.Finally, the team used large sanding blocks to treat the sculpture."We first sprayed on a guide coat, then sanded the surface and applied filler," explained Wohlleben.This method prevents sanding marks.This was followed by another round of sanding.

Then it was finally time for the experts to begin spraypainting the work of art - first in white."The white color provided a clean substrate and served as a guide," Wohlleben explained. Finally the sculpture was given its own color, with two coats of 55 Line in gold."Spraypainting golds is particularly difficult,since these colors are very susceptible to clouding," Wohlleben reported.Luckily, however, the know-how of the painters and the quality of the paint ensured that there were no problems.Five coats of 45 Line clearcoat with an intermediate sanding job rounded off the application work and guaranteed the perfect result."The depth of color of the gold paint is accentuated much better this way," Wohlleben said.He is very satisfied with the result."The artist expressed his thanks to us in person," Wohlleben added.

For the bodyshop owner, paint is more than just a tool - it's also a passion."We have to deal with new challenges every day.That's what I like about this job."Wohlleben can imagine working on other art projects in the future.He and his bodyshop team are certainly prepared for whatever may come their way.

Source: BASF

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