Public Works


MARCH 2017

Here at Raindrops we are so honored to be the designers and creators of Virginia's newest LOVE Sign dedicated in March.  A great big thank you to all who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.  It was an amazing time and a fabulous showing at this event  A special thank you to our honored guests the First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe, Secretary of Agriculture Basel Gooden, and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Board Rita McClenny for attending this event.

The Market at Grelen and Grelan Nursery approached us to make them a sign for the Virginia LOVEWorks campaign. This campaign was launched by the Virginia Tourism Board as part of the Virginia is for Lovers campaign. Currently there are over 60 signs across Virginia.

The client wanted the piece to look like our garden obelisk that we had designed some years back that are made in rebar, and to have the same ball and basket tops that we forge unto those works. Adam and I passing sketches to each other and creating small mock ups then moved to create a proportion drawing of our final design to be submitted for the clients to approve. After it was approved we began the engineering drawings. This drawing set resolved all of the design functions, material grades, loads, connections, weld types, hardware, angles, and support spacing both visually and structurally. But first and foremost we were concerned with safety and design quality.





The client desired chicken wire to line the inside of the entire 'O' to hold moss for plantings. After some time tests we found that regular chicken wire would only last about a year in contact with the moist moss. So in its place we opted for a thick wire utility cloth. The inside and outside panels are welded, whereas the facing panels are laced in as seen here so we can make quick on site repairs as needed.

 We wanted to design a base that did not detract from the piece but at the same had a large footprint. We opted for this design as it was the most flexible, and under computer modeling could sustain 110mph winds.

The clients desire for our ball baskets created an interesting problem as to how to resolve the end of the letters that had baskets. In our experimentation we had decided to create a pyramid with a pad. This was ideal for the resolution of the 'L' but made it extremely difficult for the 'V' as it is angled wide.




The First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe




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