A free vintage propane tank! I really liked the shape of the tank as well as the green patina. I knew right away that I wanted to transform it into a hanging gong off a redwood tree. Then, I expanded that idea… a big dragonfly gong.
I wanted to use metal pieces I had purchased for the farm fence, but didn’t use, such as the metal cut out panels, half a wagon wheel, and other metal pieces.
Jordan Booth, a welder in Boulder Creek, was totally onboard with this artsy project. The first thing he did was to take the tank and metal pieces to his workshop. He designed the frame first that would be attached to the redwood tree and had to be very industrial and strong to hold hundreds of pounds (i.e. the gong). He bent my metal wagon wheel piece and welded it on to a truck spring and metal plate. A couple of decorative curly-cue pieces made it perfect.
Next was the wing design. Jordan said they needed to be huge because the propane tank is pretty big and fat. After he cut my metal panels, he layered them on top of other metal he had for a two-dimensional affect.
But, the wings still needed support. I looked around his metal pile and spied the black metal headboard/footboard (see above photo). I told him to take the curved bars off and fit them on the wings. Then, he used my thin, half round metal pieces for the lower wings.
I was joking around that the balls on the headboard could be used for something, and it’s true, they make the perfect eyeballs for the dragonfly. The antennas are decorative scroll pieces from a fence that Jordan cut out and stretched.
I love how all these random pieces of metal came together and worked to make this a unique dragonfly gong.
The next step was to install the heavy gong onto the redwood tree.
Jordan devised a wench system to hoist up the gong using his truck to pull it up. First, he lined up the gong on the ladder so it would be pulled straight up. It took a couple of tries before it worked, but it worked! Yeah!
Gong Time: Santa Cruz Mountain Howl. What better way to join the howl than by doing it by gong!