News


Portola Valley: Steel deer sculpture under repair

Click on pictures to enlarge.

By Dave Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

Portola Valley's rust-brown deer of steel will be returning soon to the lawn at Triangle Park at the corner of Alpine and Portola roads.

Sculptor Kristine Taylor of Corte Madera Road has the sculpture in her driveway, a few feet from where her father, Wallace "Wally" Davis, took up a gas welding torch in 1974 to build it. Ms. Taylor is repairing it, adding some 40 feet of half-inch steel rod to replace pieces that had fallen off over the years.

Mr. Davis (who is deceased) used the steel rod and some artistically placed triangular steel plates to fashion the torso of a large buck, with antlers made of one-inch steel reinforcing bar. The sculpture stands about 12 feet high and weighs in at around 250 pounds, said Glenn Taylor, Ms. Taylor's husband.

To transport the sculpture to the Taylors for repair, three men from Town Hall used a flatbed truck, Ms. Taylor said. The town had it in storage in the corporation yard at Town Center after removing it from the park in the fall of 2010. It would have gotten in the way while upgrading the park for access to people with disabilities.

The deer also had kids climbing on it, Assistant Town Manager Janet McDougall said in a phone interview. "It's old and some of the welds were coming apart. We were a little bit concerned about putting it back without fixing it."

Ms. Taylor, the daughter of the original sculptor and a longtime welder, offered her services. Indeed, welding is what brought her and her husband together. Mr. Taylor ran a Peninsula wind surfing shop and needed someone to build wind-surfing simulators for sale all over the world, he said.

She had been working for a scale-modeling company. "One day, she asked me if I had a job for her," Mr. Taylor recalled. "I said I needed a welder. She said 'I can learn any tool.'" She practiced for half a week and he hired her, he said. He had made the first 300 simulators; she made the next 900, he said.

"My dad taught me to use all kinds of tools," Ms. Taylor told the Almanac.

For seven years, she and her husband have welcomed the robotics team from Woodside High School into their garage and well-equipped machine shop. She helps them with the tricky business of welding aluminum and he offers help and advice on using a metal lathe.

When the deer goes back, Ms. McDougall said, it will be located so as to discourage climbing and encourage recognition of what it is: public art.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan Stienstra
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I'm so happy to read this update! I missed seeing the deer and didn't realize it was being repaired. The deer is always a pleasure to see and the sculpture is so evocative of the area.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jerrie
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Aug 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

A special thank you goes to Kristine Taylor for repairing the deer. Glad to know it will be returned to Triangle Park for the community to continue to enjoy.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Mixx, Scott's Seafood replacement, opens in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 14 comments | 3,276 views

Ten Steps to Get Started with Financial Aid
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 2,253 views

To Cambodia With Love
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 2,187 views

All Parking Permits Should Have a Fee
By Steve Levy | 23 comments | 1,738 views

Itís Not About The Officer Or The MomóItís About All Of Us
By Erin Glanville | 8 comments | 637 views