Local Engraver Works on Eugene’s New Public Art Display

EUGENE, Ore. — The City of Eugene unveiled a major overhaul of Alder Street last fall, but the project isn’t quite finished; this fall, the corner of 13th Avenue and Alder will get a new addition: a 16-foot sculpture of a blue heron.

“The actual art will be installed and unveiled in October as part of the Eugene 150 celebration,” said Adam Steffan with Eugene Public Works.

Before then, city crews had to make sure the plinth — that’s the concrete base the sculpture will sit on — is ready. So Wednesday, a local engraver worked on the plinth, sandblasting the words ‘University District’ into it.

“At Laser Image, we do all kinds of different types of work,” said Gary Hair. “We do sandblasting, we do laser engraving, laser etching. I can do anything from marking stainless steel to engraving in concrete.”

Hair spent Wednesday morning suited up and hunched over, blasting sand at the concrete. A cloud of sand and dust surrounded Hair as he worked.

“It’s extremely messy,” the engraver said. “In fact, the biggest issue or challenge that I have is trying to contain the mess. Especially on a job like this on the corner of a pretty busy street.”

By Wednesday afternoon, Hair’s work was done. Now he’ll have to wait until October to see what the finished product looks like.

To see the whole process, watch the video below.

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