Gary Snyder Fabrication

Production and Custom Metal Fabrication

Gary Snyder Fabrication is an owner operated metal fabrication shop providing personalized service with unparalleled attention to detail.

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living succulent heart sculpture

We built this heart sculpture for Robin Stockwell at Succulent Gardens in Castroville Ca. The heart was commissioned for the 2015 Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. The heart stands 14 feet high on it's stand and is 12 feet across. The metal work was completed and delivered to Succulent Gardens in late in 2014, it was then planted with 15,000 succulents and allowed to grow before being transported to Seattle to be displayed at the garden show.

Heart sculpture setup for display at the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle WA

Heart sculpture setup for display at the Northwest Flower and Garden show in Seattle WA

The heart was built in two halves that are bolted together on site, this allowed the heart to fit in a standard climate controlled semi-trailer for shipping. The heart structure is moved back as far as possible from the plant growing surface to allow the plants more room to grow.

The backbone structure of the heart halves being welded while bolted together to ensure the heart halves will match once they are completed

The backbone structure of the heart halves being welded while bolted together to ensure the heart halves will match once they are completed

 The ribs for each half of the heart sculpture were bent in one piece to ensure the curves were consistent on each half of the heart. 

The curved ribs in welded in position as well as the outer edge shape, the edge on the right is the seam where the two halves will be bolted together.

The curved ribs in welded in position as well as the outer edge shape, the edge on the right is the seam where the two halves will be bolted together.

The surface of the heart is expanded metal shaped to fit the curves of the thin supporting ribs. We used the ribs as a template while shrinking and stretching the curves into the expanded metal, it was then carefully welded onto the ribs and the outer edge.

Shaping the expanded metal surface

Shaping the expanded metal surface

The back of the heart is made up of several flat expanded metal panels, the panels are removable to facilitate planting the 15,000 succulents.  

Metal work being done on the back panels of the heart, nutserts and stainless steel hardware secure the panels.

Metal work being done on the back panels of the heart, nutserts and stainless steel hardware secure the panels.

Matt Geary with one half of the heart painted red, the heart is sitting on a simple cart we made so the nursery could easily move the heart during the planting and growing period and to simplify shipping.

Matt Geary with one half of the heart painted red, the heart is sitting on a simple cart we made so the nursery could easily move the heart during the planting and growing period and to simplify shipping.

After allowing the 15,000 succulents to grow the heart and it's stand are up in Seattle at the Northwest Flower and Garden show. Now we just need to assemble all the pieces.

After allowing the 15,000 succulents to grow the heart and it's stand are up in Seattle at the Northwest Flower and Garden show. Now we just need to assemble all the pieces.

Working on the installation of the heart onto its stand in Seattle

Working on the installation of the heart onto its stand in Seattle

Close up of the planted surface of the heart

Close up of the planted surface of the heart

Living Succulent Heart sculpture

Living Succulent Heart sculpture

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