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MIGHTY OWL OAK, LITCHFIELD PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL



Here are photos of the creation of the Mighty Owl Oak, a project of Litchfield Park Elementary School in conjunction with sculptor Kevin Caron. It was created in 2007.


Kevin started by making the copper leaf blanks, so students could begin decorating them with their own designs.

Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, leaves, cutting blanks

Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, leaves, cutting blanks - Snip! Snip!

First, Kevin cut 1,000 blanks 2-1/2" wide and 6" long.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, leaves, trimming leaves

Each leaf was then cut out by hand.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, leaves, smoothing leaves

Kevin smooths a leaf's edges.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, punching leaves

Once the leaves were cut out, each had a hole punched in it so it can be hung on the tree.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, 1,000 leaves!

One thousand leaves were delivered to Litchfield Park Elementary for the students.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, forge

Once the leaves were done, it was time to start working on the tree itself.

Kevin began making the trunk in his coal-fired forge. Here he is adding coal to feed the fire.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, bending

The 1" solid steel is heated in the forge until it is red hot. Then it's ready for bending.

Kevin uses a turning hardie stuck into an anvil to bend the steel bars.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, creating the trunk

Three bars for the trunk are heating up in the forge so Kevin can bend them.

After the first three pieces were bent, he created a ring to which he could weld them.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, the beginning of the trunk

The trunk stands, with its first three strands in place. There will be 20 overall.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, more trunk

Then there were six ....


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, more trunk

... and then 12.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, more trunk

Here's the base of the trunk.


Once all the trunk pieces are attached, it's time to add branches.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, adding branches

The branches are bolted on so the tree can be transported to the school. The bolts go through two solid inches of steel. Once installed, they will be permanently attached.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, adding branches


As the branches are added, Kevin is adding secondary branches. More branches, and branches off the branches, are to come - and needed - for hanging 1,000 leaves!


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, adding branches

The branches are bolted on so the tree can be transported to the school. The bolts go through two solid inches of steel. Once installed, they will be permanently attached.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, adding branches

Secondary branches are added to the main branches to provide even more places to hang leaves.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, calculating where leaves will hang

Next, Kevin used his PalmPilot to calculate how far apart the washers from which the leaves will be hung.


Kevin Caron - Mighty Owl Oak, adding holders for leaves

Finally, Kevin welded the washers onto the branches - the last step before dismantling the tree for delivery to Litchfield Park.