This is huge, yes? I had no details at all, just that he wanted a large, 10 to 12 foot diameter stainless steel ball. Of course, my imagination drew me to the main site, with all the attendant sorrow and glamour. I dropped everything. Working feverishly with Photoshop and Rhino 3D, I came up with this:
It turned out that this memorial idea was for Staten Island. The customer wanted all 250+ citizens killed that day engraved on the surface of a stainless ball. Yikes. More hours on the phone. The job sounded more specific, more possible.
I found a company in Tomahawk, Wisconsin that could do the job. As I was driving with my son, Graeme Smith to Winnipeg for his first posting with the Globe and Mail, I arranged to drop in. The plant at Northland Stainless was unbelievable. They could make this huge sphere easily in their plant. They even had an automatic polishing mandrel in a room the size of a hangar, that could add a high polish. And their price was amazing. Around $60,000, as I remember.