In the Hands of Alchemy
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The Wishing Fountain The Wishing Fountain (room view)
The Wishing Fountain  (19 of 19)

(We change out these photos for better once we have them.)

The Wishing Fountain was created sometime in the 80s for The New York Open Center in Manhattan. I made 2 fountains at that time, one for a Dominican convent in New York. The fountain at the convent was larger. It represented the Garden of Eden, replete with Adam, Eve, serpent and apple.

The Wishing Fountain stayed at the New York Open Center for several years. Eventually it began to deteriorate and part of the building that the Center was situated in was sold. One day someone from the Center called and asked if he might put the fountain on display at his loft in NYC. I made the necessary repairs and continued to loan the fountain out to several art galleries and shows.

During this time period I moved to the North West and settled on Whidbey Island. A friend then had the fountain shipped out to me where it went on display at a restaurant that was run for the benefit a local Waldorf School. When the restaurant closed I made a few more changes to the fountain and created an environment for it in our large workshop space where it resides still.

Here is how the fountain works: An electric water pump begins the fountain’s many activities and most of the secondary movements are powered by the gravity of falling water. The first of these activities I call, “the dancing of the deities.” The upper wheel, which has several gods and goddesses mounted on it, spins from the power of the water being pumped from the holding tank. The deities come from a variety of spiritual traditions. Below the deities are 2 angels holding trumpet flowers to their lips. They drink the water pouring from the mouth of the large central face. The Angels then pee the water into another flower. There is a smaller face with a figure riding on its head that pours water from its mouth onto a spinning water wheel. There are several other water wheels and actions, all of which run at the same time.

There are many colored and flashing lights and a disk that slowly spins and says, “It comes from God it goes to God.” With these words being written in a circle, the statement can be read starting with which ever word is at the top as the disk as it slowly spins.

There is a large red button in the belly section of the piece where instructions are written that say, “Make a wish, toss a coin and push the button.” When the button is pushed a loud buzzer goes off, startling the wish-maker. I once heard Jean Huston say that we say “Bless You” when someone sneezes because for that one instant we are open and this openness allows the blessing to enter. I think the buzzer may have that same effect in allowing one’s wish to be fulfilled. Originally, I had a large fire bell connected to the button as well, but Marilyn made me take it off for fear that someone would die of a heart attack.

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