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Wholeo Dome rebirthing - August, 2004

These images show the end of the process of moving Wholeo, the stained glass dome, to its home at The Farm, May through August, 2004. Click image to enlarge. See them as a Flash movie. See descriptions following. See also the start of moving in, April, 2004.

concrete Farm School students helped dig the holes for the posts. About 3 inches down, Tennessee is rocky. They got a crow bar for a large rock in the way. Although it was difficult, they worked until the rock could be removed.
alternative schoolersA conference for alternative schools took place in The Farm School. Students helped dig the foundation for Wholeo Dome with post hole diggers. Later, the posts were moved, but the holes filled with gravel, provide valuable drainage, keeping the floor of the dome dry.
ElizabethWithout my daughter Elizabeth, I doubt this project would have gotten off the ground. She steadied my nerves and resolve. She focused on each succeeding step. She stayed with the work and the people when I tired. She made sure each trial was handled adroitly, with compassion, insight, grace, loving care, fun, and humor. After her two weeks were up, her example carried me through the following months. She pulled ticks from my back. She had a cell phone. At the Women's Circle she praised me, but she was the deserving one at this time.
concreteConcrete for the foundation ring is a mixture of gravel, sand, and cement. Francesco teaches people at an Alternative School conference and farm folks how to do it. See a large version (147K).
rebarSam Gaskin insisted on rebar reinforcing each post. He got the job of tying each one to the perimeter rebar. You can see the scaffolding used to hold each post upright and bridge the gap between posts. Black plastic sheeting lines the split-top drainage pipe, which is held apart by aluminum spacers. Duct tape marks the position where a bolt is inserted upright - 30 of them, one for  a clip over each of the struts around the bottom of the dome. See a large version (195K).
floorThe foundation would hold the dome, but I needed a flat floor to do the work. Joel Kachinsky filled the slope with dirt. Over that he poured a layer of gravel and tamped it in hard. A breakthrough came when he discovered he could use aluminum roadside signs, salvaged long ago, as retaining walls for the downhill part of the floor He bent them to the curvature behind the posts, to each side of the entrance. Work came to a standstill around the area inside the entry until it was done. I attached the signs to the posts.
Cesco at entryFrancesco made the entry in a day. The next day he rimmed the edge and step with pavers, which are thin bricks.
entryHere's how the entry looked, handsome and functional. Joel finished filling the floor. One day Francesco got buckets of pea gravel. Joel got a load of pea gravel too. The next day I spread it out and there was just enough.
frameframeuppersWith a level floor, I looked for help mounting the frame on the foundation. Sharon Wells appeared with Robert Moore, Tohanash from NY, and Robert's grandson Seder. Together we placed the frame. Tohanash helped put on the clips and check the struts. See a large version of placing the frame (248K).
one panelThe first glass panel up on the frame is Triangulation. It is number 1 on the countdown graphic. See a large version (216K).
burntLook at the leads in this panel (#18 in the aqua arc). They are covered with burned-in soot. It looks like a candle placed on the rim of the dome broke glass and damaged the lead. The original glass is clear aqua. I replaced the broken piece with glass in swirly smoke streaks, as a reminder to take better care of Wholeo Dome.
zapThe Zap panel (#73) on the original table top as repaired in the studio.
Martin videoMartin Duffy is making a video of the installation of Wholeo Dome at The Farm School. On his second trip, he felt ill and loaned me his camera. We documented the site, Farm people, how to repair and install panels and other history relevant to the project.
Caroling attachMy favorite time to work on the dome was morning after condensation burned off the glass. Being in the colored light of glass panels installed in the east was healing and the air was cool enough to wear protective clothing. I don't know the technical reason for the light aura surrounding my self-portrait. But I did feel light and blissful, content to be fulfilling a dream long deferred.
communityAnother conference was a summit for intentional communities. Near to my dome-installing path was a group swathed in purple from their robes to their truck. Their leader said that highly spiritual color would raise their vibrations.
concreteAnother long weekend was the Farm tradition called 7/11 or the Ragweed festival. Old residents and friends gather over the July 4 holiday. Mark Hubbard insisted I go on the canoe trip, which was divine. However, the aftermath of chigger and tick bites stopped me from going to the healing circle. Here's a mandala created in the school. Also, at this time, Wholeo mania impelled me to work non-stop on installation.
NW attachHaving installed these panels top down, I was not happy with the fit. So I spread them out over the frame and rebuilt from the bottom up. The panels went together smoothly on the second try. See a large version (209K).
exteriorWholeo Dome from the north when almost done. See a large version (138K).
siteFrom the community center stage, the solar panels and sloping roofs of The Farm School dominate the view of the tiny dome to the far left.
westInstalling panels north and south left a gap in the west. These panels had broken glass and needed to be repaired anyway. I trimmed up to two inches on some to get them in. See a large version (145K).
breathe out finishedThe deep indigo blue of the sun path is Breathe Out or Black Hole. It descends right over the entrance. The final panel installed has a large plain triangle of blue glass that survived moving and storage intact. See a large version (256K).
rebornVickie Montagne thought we should have a panel updating the signature of 1974, commemorating this installation. She suggested a peace symbol and the words "Reborn 2004". I scratched the design and letters into the deep blue glass. Etching cream deepened the scores and made a matte finish on the shiny surface of the glass. See a larger version (63K).


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