Color Concerto was designed for Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana with color as the primary purpose of the sculpture. The color would result from light passing through the sculpture--becoming in essence sculptured color. Stained slab glass about an inch thick was selected because of the three-dimensional qualities of light transmitted through thick glass. Reinforced portland cement mortar was chosen to provide support for the pieces of glass. The sculpture's shape and orientation to the sun were planned to best exploit the transmitted color. A semicircular shell design 11 feet high was selected, with its convex side facing south so that direct sunlight could penetrate some of the stained glass at any time of the day.
PORTLAND CEMENT MORTAR MADE WITH ADMIXTURES
Reinforced portland cement mortar was well suited to building the shell framework for this sculpture. Cement was hand mixed with silica sand and water, then pushed into the desired shape and position by hand and modeled with a kitchen knife. About one part of cement to one part of sand was used with a very low water-cement ratio for maximum strength and durability. To obtain the lowest possible water-cement ratio, less than 0.3, a superplasticizer (high range water reducer) was added at the rate of about 7 ounces per gallon of liquid. Acrylic polymer was also used in all mixes to reduce shrinkage cracking and further increase the durability. Non-air-entraining white cement was used throughout.