A 110-Foot Tall Bronze Horse and Giant Lobsters, But Where’s the Permalac?

Pegasus 09 EKM

A 110-Foot Tall Bronze Horse and Giant Lobsters, But Where’s the Permalac?

Many visitors are amazed at the Pegasus and Dragon, a 110-foot tall bronze horse, displayed in Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Florida. The dragon is a mere 50 feet in height! 110 tons of steel and 132 tons of bronze went into the construction of this project, initiated in 2012.

While it is quite stunning, we have to ask, where’s the Permalac? I discovered an early photo, when the project was incomplete, and have followed the project through the building process but the story makes my head hurt just a bit. Why would any artist not wish to protect the patina on their work of art, letting it collect ocean salt from the ever-blowing winds off the shore, only a few hundred yards east of the statue?

Permalac Victories

Many artists, builders, and construction project managers know the value of applying Permalac to an indoor or outdoor sculpture, or infrastructure undertaking, and we’re proud to proclaim that it is the favored choice of protecting such projects across the globe. In other articles on our blog, we’ve highlighted the Bull and Bear sculpture at Stifel Financial, even the Fountain of the Muses, all right here in the USA.

The Fountain of the Muses, 15 life-size bronze sculp¬tures in a reflecting pool and fountain, is one of the most visited pieces of art at the Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, S.C. The Muses were showcased in a previous article on our blog, and it appeared in C&R Cleaning & Restoration Magazine in their February 2014, issue. Here is just one of more than 3000 of 5-star reviews of the Murrells Inlet site on TripAdvisor.

“beautiful gardens – amazing sculptures”
Reviewed February 18, 2014

I can only imagine what the gardens look like when everything is blooming. Maybe sometime, we’ll get there in the spring. Even in the winter it was beautiful, and they have some of the most amazing sculptures……. Cheryl H, Durham, North Carolina

Muse Image at night
Image credit: Permalac

Back to Pegasus

There could be numerous reasons why the Pegasus and Dragon sculpture didn’t receive the protection of Permalac, but I surmise it was because of the international firms involved, and that allowed Permalac to slip through the cracks in their process. When you consider that the framing came from Germany, the bronze segments from China, and an America firm provided the project management.

Germany-based company Strassacker handled the project, (and manager Cznay) said amazing work went into the project. It started with an idea from Gulfstream’s owner Frank Stronach. The idea — having a giant Pegasus to represent the track — then went from paper to clay and Styrofoam. Cznay said that when he first heard what Stronach was imagining, he thought it was “impossible,” and “crazy.” But working with a company in China, Strassacker came up with a plan to make the idea a reality.

Chinese engineers used a grid to create the horse and then cast the sculpture out of hundreds of tons of bronze. It was cut into pieces and packed in 26 shipping containers, then placed on a boat for a nearly six-week journey to America. – Excerpt – Miami Herald

Image credit: Miami Herald

As you can see, deposits of ocean salt have accumulated extensively on the bronze. There is also a fountain to be completed within it, and that may be someone’s planned solution to minimize the accumulation. But what of long-term protection? We attempted to contact the project manager Cznay, but were unable to reach him.

“Pegasus is a symbol of strength, elegance and good,” said Michael Stark, chief engineer for the project. “The dragon is a symbol of evil. It’s the fight of good against evil. And as you can see, the good is supposed to be winning. This is the story behind Pegasus and the dragon.” Pegasus, touted by Gulfstream as the largest bronze equine statue in the world, is fast becoming the buzz of the town. – Sun-Sentinel News Media

In a previous article showcasing the renovation of the Statue of Liberty, we noted that this important historical project also did not receive Permalac as part of the renovation. This is also referenced in the Wikipedia page on the piece. It is widely understood that Lady Liberty is the tallest metal sculpture in the USA, with Pegasus and Dragon coming in second. For comparison, there is a taller sculpture in Puerto Rico, The Birth of the New World, by Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli.

There are also other “unusual animal” sculptures in North America. One in Shediac, Canada, the other in the Florida Keys, a gargantuan lobster, as seen in the images below.

giant lobster 1
Images credit: atlasobscura.com
giant lobster 2
Images credit: atlasobscura.com

There are many, many reasons to utilize Permalac on these types of grand art projects, so many that it boggles our minds when artists create such tremendous works, and then allow them to deteriorate due to exposure to the weather.

If you are a sculptor, or merely someone seeking to make your mark with a permanent reminder, make its appearance long-lasting! Consider Permalac your final touch in the preservation of your lobster, horse or dragon, Fountain Muses, the Santa Maria or perhaps a Unicorn for posterity. If you check out the product home page, you’ll see Permalac even helps protect garden gnomes.

Top featured image credit: Miami Herald


Beer, Basketball, and Permalac

Did you ever have a relative that seemed to have an opinion on just about anything?  If so, you’ll be able to relate to this story.  If placing a label on just about everything is a foreign concept, you might enjoy learning about our latest project.  When it comes to a city known for beer and a basketball team, Permalac’s specialized matte finish needed some refinement to meet the architect’s specifications.

When the designer specifies a particular design feature to a building, it is often an opportunity for innovation.  And so it was with the new stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Because of our speed to market and having on-staff innovation specialists we were able to create an ultra-flat reformulation that met the demands of the project timeline and quality standard.  We therefore were the chosen awardee for the project.

Beer and Basketball

With nicknames like Miltown, Brew City, Milburg, The Mil, and most confusing, Cream City (more on this in a moment), surely there will come a new nickname with the completion of the new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks.  With its zinc panels encapsulating the structure, there’s no doubt that it will generate yet another moniker worthy of this striking façade. 

As for innovation, we’re not bashful when it comes to competition, nor to creating something unique.

“Permalac has a long history of protecting exterior metals.  For this project, the architects wanted an ultra-flat finish on the metal. Permalac has a matte finish, but they needed more than that.  We tweaked our formulation to adjust the sheen level and arrived at an ultra-flat that did the job.  We competed with a number of other products, but it was our willingness to move quickly and our flexibility that helped us win this project.”

The small section of panels in the photo above is merely for demonstration purposes, but the end of November should complete the entire structure’s exterior. All in all, there will be 317,000 square feet of metal panels covering the exterior.

Permalac’s ultra-flat finish will maintain the patina for decades to come.  However, this design didn’t come to fruition without some resistance. One critic likened the proposed structure to a giant taco.

The zinc touch will come during the summer. Those panels stirred some of the most passionate debate over the design of the arena, with some detractors saying they would give the arena a “Rust Belt” feel. Project designers, however, said the zinc panels can take on the look of wood or leather and will change appearance in varying degrees of light.

A sample of those panels is on display outside in the warren of pre-fab offices on the northeast side of the construction site along the Park East corridor. Up close, the panels have a sturdy, rough feel, with a ruddy bronze hue.

One of the most-asked questions about the project is will the zinc panels change color over time like copper or other metallic building finishes.

Callahan’s answer: Nope. “No noticeable change with age,” he said.

Frankly, I don’t see it, the giant taco that is.  However, to me it looks like a segment of an old, wooden beer barrel.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so the saying goes.  You decide.  We’re just proud to be part of this $500 million project.  For additional information and more photos of the project, go here.

Oh, getting back to the unusual nickname for Milwaukee; Cream City.  It seems that in the late 1830’s, newly constructed homes and businesses to be built included the local clay found on the western shore of Lake Michigan, which when molded into bricks and fired creates a creamy, golden yellow patina to the bricks.  They became so popular much of the Midwest began using them.  They were more resilient than others of the region, held their color, and were utilized for both private and public projects.  Many of Michigan’s remote lighthouses were constructed with Cream City bricks.

It’s amazing the name didn’t come from my great, great aunt Betsy.

Keywords: Permalac flat finish, Milwaukee Bucks, VM Zinc, zinc panels, wall panels








Antiqueing With Permalac

The original finish

If you’ve been in a high end furniture store in the last few years you will have noticed a proliferation of faux antique finishes. Whether it’s layers of paint artfully worn through to show different colors or wood, crazing, chipping, old or the appearance of old is very big right now. Of course, there is a difference between a fashionable faux finish and just plain beat up. What we want to achieve here is to take a low value, unattractive item, and turn it into something unique and beautiful.

We are going to start with this chair. In terms of low value you can’t get much lower, I found it behind a dumpster. The chair itself if actually a good solid, if somewhat plain, piece made of oak and finished in polyurethane. There is a bit of buildup of gunk on the arm rests, and some places on the seat where water has lifted the finish. All in all a perfectly acceptable chair for a dorm room or a seedier dive bar.

The first step in bringing this chair to life is smoothing it out a bit. For the finish I’m applying we don’t need to go to bare wood, we just want to level out some blemishes and remove the gunky buildup. For this I used 220 grit paper. Again the main thing you are looking for here is texture. Certain imperfections, like divots and chips in the wood itself, are actually in keeping with the look we are aiming for. Others, like the water spots, are not. But it’s largely a matter of personal taste.

After sanding, take your time and fully remSnapshot(0)ove all the dust. I started with a dry rag, and then used a tack cloth to get any that remains. Be sure to go over the whole piece, leave no dust behind.

Permalac EF Copper

The first layer of this antique finish is done with Permalac EF Copper. I sprayed, so I took 8 oz of EF copper and cut it with 2 oz #281 thinner. I’ve found that the best results come from doing light coats, and reapplying wet on wet, until the coating flows together. This will give you the best coverage and finish without runs. For this project, I used this technique to spray until I had full coverage with the EF copper. This used about 8 oz. of the material I had mixed up.

Permalac EF Black

It was the end of the day, so I let the chair dry over night. The next morning I applied Permalac EF Black. I again mixed 8 oz of the EF black with 2 oz of the #281 thinner. I used the same spraying method as with the copper. After I finished, the chair appeared completely black.

copper floats
Copper highlights coming through.

I let the layer of black rest for 2 hours. Now it was ready for the antiquing process. Using very fine sandpaper, in this case 800 grit, I lightly wet sanded the whole chair. On any corners, or any area where natural wear would occur, I sanded heavier, fully penetrating the coat of black, and sometimes the coat of copper. I found that it was useful to continually clean the areas I was working with a rag. This removed the wet black dust which obscured the surface. Once I was happy with the results, I dried the chair with a rag, and removed any leftover dust.

The final step in this project is applying to coats of Permalac EF clear satin. I did this using the same mix ratio and methods as before, allowing 1 hour between coats.  As the clear is applied and begins to set up you will see some of the copper come to the surface. And that’s it, I let the chair set for 24 hours and brought it home.

The finished product
The finished product