Wind Sculptures by Lyman Whitaker

Wind Sculptures by Lyman Whitaker

What is a kinetic wind sculpture?

Kinetic wind sculptures are sculptures  designed to move and change with the wind and weather. Due to their composition these sculptures are able to move, and they truly come alive on windy days and in harsh weather. People love seeing wind sculptures out their window in their lawns or sculpture gardens as they mimic the trees and the nature around them. The wind sculptures are made out of copper or stainless steel.

What inspired the wind sculptures?

Lyman Whitaker came up with the idea for his kinetic wind sculptures while looking at nature and seeing how the leaves reacted to the natural forces around them. Over the years he has taken inspiration from so many different places in nature creating the collection of kinetic wind sculptures that we all get to love today. Lyman Whitaker weaves the mystical and the natural to create the shapes that we see and the movements that the sculptures perform. Once seen the movements of these wind sculptures make captivate their audience and give a glimpse into one’s own imagination.

“By organically placing the sculptures in settings dependent on natural elements for movement, the sculptures rise out of the ground to symbolize creative energy and the kinetic elements, new opportunities. I hope that my sculptures will generate a sense of interest and delight shared and enjoyed by a broad array of people.”

Lyman Whitaker

Who is Lyman Whitaker?

Lyman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Utah. There Whitaker studied under Avard Fairbanks and Angelo Carvaglia,eventually learning classical sculpture techniques as well as contemporary design. Lyman’s early work was more representational, with a wonderful mix of ceramics, bronzes, small mobiles, mixed media and copper wall pieces, and included several public fountains.

Lyman Whitaker has been honing his craft in sculpting for more than 50 years. He has seen his primary focus shift to wind sculptures for the past 30 years. He has mastered the craft of many metals, which allow for the superb craftsmanship on the sculptures. Over the years he has developed some of the most superb kinetic sculptures that are world renowned for their longevity and brilliance. The receptivity to his work has allowed Lyman to create a wonderful studio where he works with his wife, Stacy Christensen, and his brother, John Whitaker. Together, over time, they have created a productive network.

Can the sculptures handle weather?

Lyman has decades of experience designing his pieces to handle a tremendous range of environmental conditions. Each piece is warranted to handle up to 70 mph constant winds and 90 mph gusts. If you have more wind than that, odds are you have bigger problems to worry about!

Fortunately, the pieces are designed with protection in mind. The Copper Wind sculptures will handle Snow, Ice, or Saltwater just fine. The steel rods are made of 316 Stainless Steel and the copper has no issues with those conditions. The Stainless Steel sculptures are made from 304 Stainless Steel which DOES NOT do well in a saltwater environment. Snow and Ice are not an issue for the 304 Stainless Steel pieces. When you know a big weather event is going to occur, simply unlock the piece from the ground pin and safely store it as part of your property preparation. All but the very largest pieces can be moved with 1-2 people and reinstalled easily.

How are they set up?

Installation of your wind sculpture is simple. Every sculpture comes with instructions and diagrams for how to secure the ground pin. Lyman Whitaker highly recommend anchoring the ground mounting pin in concretes. After that, simply put the sculpture onto the shaft, place the shaft onto the ground pin, and lock everything into place. Trust Whitaker, he’s the master. 

What is the copper patina?

At Lyman Whitaker’s studio the artist oxidizes the copper to create a varied patina of green and brown surfaces. Unlike rust, the green patina helps protect the piece as well as enhance its visual appeal. This allows the wind sculptures to keep their patina.  The wind sculptures will continue to weather over time and change in appearance due to a wide variety of factors including humidity, dissolved salts in the air, pollution, etc. Over time, the sculptures will look similar to other exposed copper in your area

The difference between copper and stainless steel

Trying to decide between the Copper and Stainless Steel wind sculpture is primarily an aesthetic question. The Copper  sculptures go well everywhere, day and night when lit for evening hours. The Stainless Steel sculptures REALLY pops with contemporary architecture and settings and shines very brightly in sunlight.

The other thing you can do with Stainless Steel wind sculptures is play around with colored LED lighting systems to give them a different scene setting during evening hours.

From a durability standpoint, the only key difference is that the Stainless Steel sculptures are constructed primarily from Type 304 Stainless Steel which is NOT salt water resistant. The Copper sculptures have 316 Stainless Steel arms which IS salt water environment tolerant.

If you aren’t by the ocean, then it’s purely a question of looks when deciding between which type to install.

Ordering a Kinetic wind sculpture

To go about ordering a wind sculpture we have a few options for you. You can either order the wind sculpture directly online, or reach out to one of our seasoned art consultants. If you happen to find yourself in beautiful South Lake Tahoe stop into our gallery. You can find us as Stateline with over 110 of the stunning wind sculptures out front.