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 Vigeland Sculpture Park

In the axis further west from the Monolith is a Sundial, completed around 1930, and finally the Wheel of life, modelled in 1933-34. The wheel is a symbol of eternity and is here executed as a garland of women, children and men holding on to each other. In a sense, this sculpture sums up the dramatic theme of the entire park: Man´s journey from cradle to grave, through happiness and grief, through fantasy, hope and wishes of eternity.

The Wheel of Life was modelled between September 1933 and February 1934. Then a master copy was cast in plaster. The method of plaster casting used is called waste moulding because the mould is chiselled away to release the master copy.

Vigeland began by making a small-scale model of the Wheel of Life. His smiths made an iron armature in full scale: three metres in diameter, using a grid over the model. They bound wooden crosses with steel wire to stop the clay from slipping when the sculpture was built up around the armature. Vigeland modelled by hand, but also used several types of rudimentary tools. Points from the plaster sketch were transferred to the clay model using the grid, a meter ruler and callipers. Finally the sculpture was reworked with finer tools to achieve the desired surface.



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