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NH % Percent for Art Awards - Weathervanes​y

'Sighting the Course' Bronze

Cast by the Artist at his Studio & Foundry

The roof of the NH Liquor Store, setting the Vanes with a Crane               Bill's original drawing                     The Sculptor assembled the copper boat at the Studio

The Sculptor gives a last approving look at the Mariner.             The Weathervane is placed

Story of the Weathervane

In 1998 Osmundsen won the New Hampshire % Percent for Art Competition Award for his Weathervane design "Sighting the Course" to be placed on the Cupola of the newly built Welcome Center, in Seabrook, New Hampshire, on I-95 N.

The 'Ancient Mariner' is sighting an early Sextant or Octant, which the artist researched and examined at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic CT.

The sculpting process requires direct forming of copper sheets which are then braze welded together. The forming process know as 'Repousse' which is French, meaning 'to push out' is executed by hammering the copper sheet into a negative mold. These sections are then assembled and welded into place.

Coloring the Copper Statue is known as 'Patina'.  

When you have a new copper penny, that is the way the copper sheet looks before and after it is formed and cleaned. Copper naturally reacts to various chemical compounds, i.e. Nitrates;- Copper Ferric Bismuth.  Those three aforementioned would turn copper to 1) Blue-green, 2) Red-Brown 3) White.

The Armature and turning setup.

Inside the 'Mariner sculpture' is a copper tube framework known as an 'Armature;. It is not unlike your skeletal system, however at a center balance point and transiting from the 'Hat and Head' down through the left leg and foot is a copper tube;- closed on top and open at the foot, it accommodates a stainless steel solid rod which is fixed well within the cupola. The top of the rod is cupped with a ball bearing with rotates on the closed shaft, at the head.

To your left is my original model for 'Sighting the Course'.  About a foot high it was cast in bronze at my studio and foundry (now closed in New Durham).  If you enter the Welcome Center you can see this work among other talented New Hampshire artists'.


"Sighting the Course"

-For Seacoast New Hampshire-

(c) Wm Barth Osmundsen


This group of Three Weathervanes was my first NH % Percent for Art Competition Award.

     I made three original pen drawings for the competition.

1) "Privateer", a TopSail Sloop armed with cannon like first commands John Paul Jones         had as a young Revolutionary Captain, 

2) "Sun Rising"   

3) "Crescent Moon"

        The sun and moon were placed to flank the sailing vessel, much like you might                     experience during a full days sail. 

*John Paul Jones is important to this greater Portsmouth area because he had two stays here at a Portsmouth (in Town) Boarding House. Which, if your visiting is still standing, in central Portsmouth and is known as the John Paul Jones House.

During his first stay Jones outfitted the Ranger which was a 'Sloop of War', not to be confused with a TopSail Sloop.  The 'Ranger' type, closely resembles a Frigate which has three masts and would most recognizably be compared to the USS Constitution. Later Jones returned to supervise the building of a Man-of-War which was to be called America. The Colonials didn't have a Man-of -War but for some unreported reason it was given to France.