25. April 2012 - 4. Juli 2012I spent the first few months of the year – after the winter break – developing the Blossom of Shalom. I knew that the Tree of Life needed a center. And I envisioned it to be a Star of David for a longer period. However, after construction began and things assumed shape, I knew that the effects of an isolated Star of David would be too harsh and confrontational for this location. That’s when I came up with the idea of placing the star on the shape of a blossom with twelve petals.
Using my design software, I created around 1,000 different drawings with the most minor of deviations. I then reflected (meditated) on them and tried to feel how the overall effect differed with these deviations. Afterwards, I selected the shape that I felt most fit to open one’s heart.
The arches of the blossom were cut with a waterjet cutter based on a computer file I created.
Mr and Mrs Reinig of the company Quarzwerk Dude in the Lauter Valley deliver the arches. The granite used for the blossom was provided by them. Also the contact to the company Wetzel Tec, which had the water jet cutting device, came about them.
The arches of the blossom have been put together and set in concrete by Ferdl and Freddy.
A view unto the Rhine Plain.
The greening of the crown is the only part of the Tree of Life left unfinished.
The first mats of rolling lawn have been placed.
There was lively interaction between the workers and me during construction. It often delighted me greatly, and I regularly wished that the intellectuals of my country valued and understood my project to the same extent.
I added three palettes (used to transport the rolling lawn) at the left-hand side of the ring, to imagine the effect commemorative stones would have in the same location.
The lawn has been almost completely placed :-) The monument's circle – Ø 26 meters – has 24 steps, the bright-grey Threshold of Humility. They bear the inscription: “Recognize the sacred in your midst”. The Blossom of Shalom with the Turning Point for Life is located in the center of the Tree of Life. Here - that is the meaning of the Turning Point - visitors can turn around and carry a blessing into the world.
Freddy Thom’s daughter felt compelled to water the new lawn and support its healthy growth.
The blossom arches in new, lush green.
Here, I adjust marble slabs with an angle grinder. They are going to be placed in the gaps between the arches and make up the surface of the Blossom of Shalom.
Now I have also attached the rings in the middle. You can see that I worked with remnants where the corners of the star would later lie.
My sister places the second triangle of the Blossom of Shalom during the inauguration ceremony; I placed the first triangle before her.
The local representative of Bensheim-Hochstädten places another triangle. For this triangle, I affixed a thin plate of Odenwald-Quartz onto a cut-to-size granite plate.
Here, I place the last triangle to complete the star.
A very beautiful result :-)
Romani people play music as we dance around the Tree of Life.
The first visitors feel the attraction of the site.
The company Quarzwerk Dude produced stone blocks for us. I wanted to place two replacement steps – leftovers from the construction of the steps for the monument – on the stone blocks. These benches would suit the monument well.
Ferdl and Freddy now fix the blocks into concrete fundaments with steel pins.
The two remaining steps are going to be placed on the stone blocks and affixed with cemented steel pins. This requires an exact fit.
The alignment of the new bench is perfect.
Freddy and Ferdl construct the first fundament (for three stones) in the monument’s ring. They place welded wire fabrics, which are shaped in accordance with our design.
The first fundament is ready now. The form was poured with concrete.
All concrete fundaments for 11 commemorative stones have been completed. The site is already developing its own attraction and force.