Kate Pond, Sculptor

Kate Pond's World Sculpture Project

During 2015 Kate traveled to Norway, Japan, Canada, and Hawaii, USA to open time capsules at each of her sculptures.

The final time capsule opening in Mapua, New Zealand

Neil and I

Mapua School, Mapua, on the South Island was the last stop on the time capsule opening tour of the World Sculptures. It was warm and sunny in December 2015 and very near to the time of summer solstice there in the southern hemisphere.

When I arrived at the school, the teachers and the Principal, Neil Chalmers welcomed me. Children were running barefoot and wearing the blue school hats that they are required to wear because of the thin ozone layer in the summer.

Sixth grade teacher Sharon Prestidge introduced me to two sixth grade girls, Millie and Tyler, who were organizing plans for the ceremony to open the time capsule.

It was a unique and special ceremony. I was struck by the attention to the Maori culture. Millie described the planned performances of haka (dance) by 30 students and mentioned to me that she was one of the dancers and that she and her mother were Maori.

Just before the ceremony Sharon Prestidge gathered all the visitors or guests into a group saying, “We are on the waka (boat) together, (remembering the Polynesian canoes that brought the original people to Aoteraoa or New Zealand) and we are joining in a common purpose. Think of those who came before us, and of the sacredness of the earth under the sculpture.”

We moved slowly toward the sculpture and heard the school children singing a welcoming song to us.

Boys haka. Video: Jennifer Robins

Soon after, a group of 30 students began haka performances, a Maori cultural dance performed in a line. (For rugby fans, the All Blacks, New Zealand’s World Champion rugby team performs a haka facing the opposing team using loud and tough warrior moves meant to challenge the opponent.) Mapua School boys perform their own challenge.

Girls haka. Video: Jennifer Robins

When the girls did their performance it reminded me Hawaiian hula performances I had seen.

Looking at capsule
Cutting capsule top
Soon attention went to opening the time capsule.

Two students who had placed artwork in the capsule in 2007 look through the drawings and sort them to show to others.

Sharon Prestidge passes them to children.

And the capsule is carried back into the Mapua School’s front lobby to rest for twenty-five years until 2040 when it will be opened again.

Children's artwork from the Mapua time capsule
Below are a few selected pieces of artwork made by Mapua children.

Map of New Zealand
"The pukeko can be an annoying bird but beautiful in a quirky way."

New Zealand’s signature bird, the kiwi, is flightless and is vulnerable to extinction.

The following pieces were made by children in Vermont and Rhode Island.

Could these be rice plants?
This artwork was made by Japanese children in Izumi, Sendai, Japan.

Hawaii and the time capsule opening at ALL ONE

A 2002 drawing by a Kapi’olani Community College student, Lesley Baptista. On the back she wrote, “Protect all keiki (children).”

Close up of wedge holding the sculpture together. Photo: Liz Stetson
As we set up the tools, tables and tent near the ALL ONE sculpture there was a misty rain. Some called it a blessing that graced the beginning of the time capsule opening ceremony.

Photo: Fred Stetson
In 2002, ALL ONE was installed at the Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii. I cut the sculpture out of thick “weathering” steel back in Vermont and then shipped it to the college. It was fairly easy to assemble and to install quite close to Diamond Head, at the entrance to the college.

Photo: Fred Stetson
Chancellor Leon Richards greets and welcomes me home. Thirteen years ago in 2002 he was present at the dedication of ALL ONE.

Photo: Fred Stetson
Reverend Kaleo Patterson blesses the shovels with water and sacred ti leaf before breaking ground.

Photo: Fred Stetson
Daughter Jen Robins and Melody Heidel (both archeologists) dig into the stony hard earth.

Photo: Liz Stetson
Chancellor Richards and Kyle Honda make progress digging with leather shoes and the capsule appears.

Fred Stetson begins sawing the ½ inch thick water pressure pipe we used for the capsule.

Sorting out the artwork.
Children sent drawings from Vermont, USA; Oslo, Norway and from Sendai, Japan to be included with the Hawaii drawings in the time capsule buried at ALL ONE.

Drawings from Williston, Vermont and from Sendai, Japan.
Manga artist Manami Sato from Sendai, Japan did a drawing of her favorite rock stars.

Art professor David Behlke’s watercolor painting titled “Hawaiian Heart Beat”.

There are two ways that ALL ONE connects with our sun and the stars:

When the “cookie cutter” shape under the sculpture is filled with shadow, the sun is overhead. In Hawaii that moment is called La Haina noon. And it happens twice in a year, before summer solstice and after in late May and early June. At this time at solar noon, a person has no shadow.

The second alignment is more conceptual. ALL ONE faces northeast. Around this time in November, the Pleiades star cluster rises in the east as the sun sets in the west. A heliacal rising. Ancient Hawaiians associated this with the return of the god Lono and the beginning of the Makahiki season.

The Maori in New Zealand call this Polynesian connection the Matariki season. At the TELLING STONES sculpture in Mapua, New Zealand, the angle of the rising Pleiades is marked with a jewel-like stone set into a boulder to the southeast. The TELLING STONES marking of the Maori Matariki season is a southern hemisphere reflection of the Hawaiian season honored at the ALL ONE sculpture in Honolulu, Hawaii.


photos Fred Stetson

On equinox, September 23, friends and Canadian students gathered at the sculpture ZIG ZAG in front of the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada.

ZIG ZAG is the third of Kate Pond’s sculptures in her World Sculpture Project that she has visited to open time capsules in 2015.

The Colby-Curtis museum is housed in an Italianate style heritage home built in1859. It contains the collection of the Stanstead Historical Society, contents of a 1900th century home and Museum archives.

photos Fred Stetson

Chloe Southam, director of the museum and Kate discuss the exhibit at the Museum that documents Pond’s five sculptures in the World Sculpture series.

ZIG ZAG - photo Barbara Waters

Friends, teachers and students from the Sunnyside Elementary School in Stanstead gather and dig under ZIG ZAG to find clay artwork and painted stones buried here on equinox in 1995.

photo Sandy Gandervalk

Director Chloe and Kate use a Skype connection with Deputy Director Dag Andreassen at the Norsk Museum of Science in Oslo, Norway. Dag smiles while standing beside the SOLEKKO sculpture in the late afternoon sun.

We poke with dowels so as not to harm clay artworks.

Sandy Vandervalk

Young boy in blue finds foot long tube in the hole and is ecstatic!

photo Sandy Gandervalk

The clay artifacts are carefully washed as they are found. Stanstead College student says: “Maybe I can become an archeologist!”

photos Fred Stetson

Virginie takes the clean clay pieces into the museum exhibit room.

photo Barbara Waters

Suspense gathers as we prepare to open the tube.

photo Barbara Waters

We find a pair of earrings, a film canister and along with mildewed papers, a photograph of the Essex High School students in Vermont who created the clay pieces in 1995.

We set the sodden papers to dry in the sun, and plan to have photographer Grant Simeon’s black and white film developed later.

photo Sandy Gandervalk

Stanstead College students and Kate look at photos taken earlier at the sculpture ZIG ZAG.

photo Barbara Waters

Time for a relaxing moment in the sun.

Stanstead College is an independent boarding school for boys and girls in Grade 7 through 12. International students make up a good portion of the student body.

Time capsule event in Izumi Town, Sendai, Japan

People gather near the HIMEGURI sculpture/sundial.

Immersed in the Japanese culture for two weeks was a peak life experience for me! I stayed with the interesting and very generous family, Chizuko, Maiko and Koichi Hamada. The Mitsubishi Jisho people organized and sponsored a perfect event, and the people at the Meysen Academy attended to all the details making the time capsule event happen like clockwork.

Meysen Academy kindergarteners, students from Tohoku International School and the rest of us eagerly await the unearthing of the time capsule. The Mitsubishi engineers first open the concrete vault and then remove the capsule covered with a fabric sac.

At last, we have a look inside!

And we find ceramics made by Tohoku International School students in teacher Sasaki’s class, and pieces made in Milton, Vermont, both made in 1998. Other artwork is two-dimensional drawings by children from twelve schools in Izumi Town, and children in Quebec, Canada; Vermont and Hawaii, USA. Some of the paper art work is damp but the colors and drawings are exciting to see.

Three mothers who found their children’s artwork and a grandmother pose with me. “I am glad to be alive on this special day” says the grandmother.

One mother whose child was in kindergarten in 1998 searches for her daughter’s art piece and later succeeds in finding it.

Mr Fujioka, president of Mitsubishi Jisho, and I meet for the first time.

Wakako Sato greets me after 16 years. She is a city representative in Sendai and is a well known personality. She was my host in 1998 and 1999. Mr Fujioka and Mr Yoshida from Mitsubishi Jisho look on.

Children from Meysen Academy and Tohoku International School place “blessings for Peace and the Wellbeing of the Earth” back into the blue ceramic vessel. The children made scrolls and drawings that will remain buried in ceramic vessel for an undetermined amount of time. Appropriate, because of the great east Japan tsunami on March 3, 2011.

Mitsubishi engineers seal the concrete vault holding the blue ceramic vessel with the “Blessings” inside.

Tsunami waves in Natori city near Sendai reached the height of this monument destroying everything in its path except for a line of tall strong pine trees along the beach. I visited the site with the Hamada family. Fishermen lost homes and boats; farmers lost homes and farms.

The Canadians built a Pavillion building on the Nartori beach to be an anchor for an open air fish and farmers market.

Stark black calligraphy covers one wall of the building, roughly translated, “ The waters came in but cherry blossoms will bloom again in the spring”

A woman selling her fish smiles in recognition when she sees my long braided hair. Happy people jostle each other as they thread through the crowds to buy produce and fish. Life goes on.

Rubble from the destruction covers the parking lot of the market.

We travel home to Izumi Town and have a delicious cook out. Koichi makes his okonomiyki , a huge concoction of cabbage, shitake mushrooms, slices of ham and other delicacies.

Ceramic artist Jun Iwai explains the Japanese tea ceremony to me. His elegant work is exhibited internationally, most recently in Florence, Italy. Some of his glazes sparkle with crystal or with bits of gold. Using magnifying glasses, one of his techniques includes brushing subtle fine lines of glaze emanating from the center of a vessel. Exquisite work.

Kate’s arrival in Japan

The homestay family: Chizuko and Kouichi, and their daughter, Maiko, with Kate and me.

Kate, known to me as Grandma Kate, arrived in Sendai, Japan on Tuesday and was greeted at the airport by a rare rain, her homestay family from 17 years ago and myself. After slurping through mountains of cold soba (buckwheat noodles) we returned to home base, where we recharged. Jetlagged brain + inundation of the Japanese language = rest required.

But there’s no moss growing on this baachan (grandma). Amidst the jetlag and exhaustion, we planned and gathered thoughts for a meeting at Tohoku International School (TIS) and “Grape City” – a playfully named company that is connected to many of the project partners.

Her first night here we were treated to an impromptu performance by a lively neighbor who stopped by. She specializes in Japanese kids songs and didn’t hold back when we requested a demonstration. I recognized the classics and joined in.

Stir-frying up a storm.

While we were singing and chatting, Chizuko’s husband, Koichi, worked on dinner.

Connecting with Tohoku International (TIS) staff in person and remotely.

Over the past few days we’ve connected with school staff who will help to connect current students to the project, as well as corporate partners who are helping to orchestrate the time capsule opening ceremony. We finally got everything settled for the ceremony, so now it’s time to invite people who contributed artwork 17 years ago and spread the word!

Chizuko, Kate and the headmaster’s assistant, Kawaguchi san, at TIS.

Talking in the shade of the HIMEGURI sculpture with Mitsubishi project partners.

Kate and Chizuko admiring the rocks that lead to the sundial.

Angela Robins lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you can learn about her work building a traditional boat in Japan at: http://angelarobins.com/blog


Photo credit Mimsy Moller

On June 4 we opened the time capsule inside the sculpture SOLEKKO at Norsk Teknisk Museum in Oslo. It was 19 years ago that Solekko was built and installed at the museum.

Photo credit Mimsy Moller

Removing the stainless steel cone protecting the capsule inside.

Photo credit Mimsy Moller

In June of 1996, during a residency at the museum, I worked with ten and eleven year old children to make art work at the museum. We filled the capsule with their artwork and that of children from Quebec, CA and from Vermont and Hawaii, USA.

Around fifty of these "children" were present and eagerly scrambled to find their artwork on the table.

One young woman showed me a drawing of a small animal hidden in tall grass. "He was my friend but he killed himself when he was seventeen".

Other stories are happy ones. "This one was done by the son of the mayor of Oslo; he now loves with his heiress wife in Bergen."

And the granddaughter of famous Norwegian playwright and illustrator Egner Thornbjorn had drawn a picture of happy animals and birds living in nature very similar to her grandfather's illustrations.

Included with the drawings were clay artifacts. Some were made at the museum workshops and others at Milton and Essex, Vermont schools.

The small clay pieces and drawings are part of an exhibit at the museum now and will be safely included in their archives later on.

Norwegian Sculpture Projects

As the World Sculpture Project connects people and cultures with five sculptures around the world, the following projects commemorate and connect people in other unique ways.

Photo journalist Mimsy Moller takes a picture of Nico Widerberg's sculpture commemorating the terrorist attack in Oslo in 2011.

Children had come from all over Norway to attend a summer camp on the island where the attack occurred.

Widerberg is installing an exact replica of the sculpture in each of the regions around Norway from which children came who were killed.

If the regions have approved having a sculpture, over fifty pieces could be installed throughout Norway.

German artist commentates Jews who were deported to Auschwitz from Norway during World War II.

German sculptor Gunther Demning explains his project to photographer Mimsy Moller before installing seven cubes topped with brass inscribed with names in front of a new Starbucks cafe in Oslo.

Thoughts about the 1993-2015 World Sculpture Project

If I had to choose one word to describe this 23 years long art project, it would be connections.

My first intention was to connect people and cultures through art.

There are geographic connections between the sun-aligned sculptures at specific latitudes. Each sculpture has a unique alignment with the sun or stars. The first three sculptures were placed at 22 degrees north latitude in Honolulu, Hawaii; 45 degrees north latitude in Stanstead, Canada and 60 degrees north latitude in Olso, Canada.

When I was slow to find a sculpture site in Hawaii I decided on adding two pieces to the series: Sendai, Japan at 39 degrees north latitude and Mapua, New Zealand at 41 degrees south latitude.

Making art with children was the most satisfying for me, and just plain fun. I encouraged children to express their feelings: “What is important to you? What are your joys and worries?” They loved making art pieces that could be part of a larger sculpture project. Their enthusiasm was contagious.

And the joy of children singing songs during the final time capsule opening in Mapua will stay with me for my lifetime.

January 14, 2016

Preparations for the 2015 time capsule openings

Plans for the World Sculpture Project time capsule openings in Norway and Japan are going well! I leave for Norway on May 25.

Here are some Gifts for people in Norway and Japan who are hosting the time capsule openings. I turned to family members to purchase beautiful hand made items.

Hand carved spoons and bowl were made by granddaughter Angela Robins. She lives in Minnesota and uses traditional Norwegian methods for her turning and carving

My sister Sally Cabell’s brightly colored quilts reflect traditional American style.

Per Andreasson at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology in Oslo, Norway is using Facebook to find people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who were students in 1996 and whose artwork is in the capsule. We look forward to some of the original students being present to open the capsule inside the sculpture. The opening at the Solekko sculpture will be on Thursday, June 4.

Mitsubishi Estate Company in Sendai, Japan is sponsoring the capsule opening at the Himeguri sculpture to be held on Saturday, June 20. Mitsubishi paid for the building of the sculpture in 1998.

Tetsuro Yoshida from Mitsubishi is coordinating plans with local schools for the ceremony. Current students from Meysen Academy and Tohoku International School will pair up in twos, one kindergartner to one high school student, to remove the artwork and place it on viewing tables for all to see.

We also plan to replace the artwork with new calligraphy and drawings: “Blessings for Peace and Wellbeing of the Planet” will be put into the two-foot high blue ceramic time capsule and placed back into the vault under earth for posterity.

Student comments: Looking back into the 1998 archives I have found comments from children who created the artwork for the capsules.

Jon Currie, Milton, Vermont: “The experience of making an artifact that will go to Japan has definitely been intriguing as well as a lot of fun. I see it as an opportunity for positive exposure for Milton high School, amidst the aftermath of last year’s infamous bomb threats.”

Sam Lavoie, Essex, Vermont: “It excites me to know that my art could possibly end up in Hawaii or Norway.”

Angela Gagliano, Essex, Vermont: “The whole unity theme is great, especially in this time of confusion.”

Leslie Pero, North Hero, Vermont: “I enjoyed working on this project since it seems to take a piece of our generation (its ideas and thoughts expressed through the arts) and sending it to different places in the world. People will find our artwork and see how we felt.”

Laurel Dugan, Essex, Vermont: “It is very exciting that our artwork may be a part of a project in another part of the world. This is a unique experience.”

J Pierce, Essex, Vermont: “I can’t imagine that my (ceramic) frog is going to be part of a bigger sculpture.”

Ashley Haupt, Vermont: “I am very excited and overjoyed. To know that my little bowl is going to be inside a very important land mark is amazing.”

Trinda Hibbard, Vermont: “It is neat that something we made is going to another country. It would be cool to see what other kids in Japan think of our work and how different theirs would be.”

Can anyone join us in either Norway or Japan? Contact me for more details at [email protected].

Schedule of time capsule openings in 2015

Gunnar Nerheim, director of the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology in 1996, is putting the time capsule into the top of the sculpture

Oslo, Norway

On June 4, 2015, at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology, we will open the time capsule installed inside the SOLEKKO sculpture in 1996 and we will find postcard-sized artwork made by children in Quebec, Canada; and in Vermont and Hawaii, USA

Sendai, Japan

On June 20, 2015, the time capsule near the sculpture HIMEGURI will be unearthed and the contents seen for the first time since the dedication in June of 1998.

Dedication of Himeguri in 1998

A kindergartener draws insects in his lunchtime bento box

Stanstead, Quebec, Canada

On equinox Sept 23, 2015 at the Colby-Curtis Museum, we will unearth clay artworks placed under the ZIG ZAG sculpture in September 1994.

Students from nearby school in Standstead watching the equinox shadow at the sculpture

Students with their artwork made during the workshop at the Colby-Curtis Museum in Quebec

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

On November 19, 2015 at the Kapi’olani Community College, the time capsule will be unearthed near the ALL ONE sculpture on campus. ALL ONE was dedicated and the capsule filled in November 2002.

Reverend Kaleo Patterson blessing the sculpture with a ti leaf and water at the dedication

The artwork was made by Hawaiian children and also by children in Vermont, Quebec and Norway.

Students in an Arts and Letters class at Punahou School in Honolulu wrote poems illustrated with artwork for the time capsules.

Mapua, Richmond, New Zealand

On December 4, 2015 we will open up the green ceramic capsule at the Mapua School. The sculpture at the school is TELLING STONES, and is a circle of boulders including a sundial and star alignments.

TELLING STONES was dedicated and the capsule filled in December 2007

In 1996 Solekko was installed at the Norwegian Museum of Science and
Technology in Oslo, Norway. Individual donors and the American Scandinavian
Foundation supported the building of this concrete piece. The sculpture is made of pressurized concrete and stainless steel and is 9.5 feet tall. On summer
solstice there is no shadow cast from the top point of the piece.

TIME CAPSULE OPENINGS World Sculpture Project

The capsules will be opened during 2015 at the five sculpture sites of the World Sculpture Project. Capsules were buried at or near the sculpture sites between 1994 and 2007.

They are filled with children's artwork and accompany each of Kate's sculptures in Canada, Norway, Japan, New Zealand and in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

They all will be opened close to specific sun alignment times:

1) SOLEKKO: Oslo, Norway; June 4, 2015 (close to summer solstice)

2) HIMEGURI: Izumi, Sendai, Japan; June 20, 2015 (on summer solstice)

3) ZIGZAG: Stanstead, Quebec, Canada: September 23, 2015 (on equinox)

4) ALL ONE: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: November 19, 2015 (close to the Pleiades heliacal rising)

5) TELLING STONES: Mapua, Richmond, New Zealand: December 4, 2015 (close to the Pleiades heliacal rising)

The sculptures in Hawaii and New Zealand share a Polynesian Pleiades star cluster alignment that happens in November/early December. The rising of the Pleiades is in the east as the sun sets in the west. The celestial event is called the Makahiki by Hawaiians and the Makariki by the Maori in New Zealand.

The capsules are filled with drawings, paintings and small clay pieces created by children. They describe their lives and their hopes and worries for the future. We will share them online and in a limited edition book during 2016.

[email protected] 802-864-6071


Former Director of the museum, Gunnar Nerheim, and Kate place the time capsule inside the sculpture in June of 1996.

Children from nearby schools contributed artwork placed in the time capsule inside the hollow piece. The artwork of children from Hawaii, Vermont and Quebec is also included in the capsule.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, the museum will sponsor a time capsule opening event and a small exhibit of the artwork.

Estelle Maartmann-Moe takes a candid photograph of activity at Solekko in 2013.

Winter quiet at the sculpture in a recent photograph by Dagsavisen photographer Mimsy Moller.

Zigzag, Stanstead, Quebec, Canada

Himeguri, Izumi Park Town, Sendai, Japan

All One, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

All One Capsule Student Artwork

New Zealand

Polynesian connections: from Hawaii to New Zealand

The fifth and final sculpture in the World Sculpture Project series is TELLING STONES in Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand.

Photo credit: Robert B Moore

TELLING STONES is an analemmatic sundial on which a person's shadow points to the time. The boulders stand for hour points.

photo credit: Karen D Walker

I am standing on the "summer stone" and in front of me is the white noon boulder on which my shadow would reach were there sun. The brown boulder to the right marks 6 PM and the grey one in between marks 3 PM.

Other alignments include the rising and setting of summer and winter solstices, equinox and the rising of the Pleiades in June (the Matariki marking the Maori new year) and the rising of Antares (the Maori, Rehua, signaling the beginning of summer in December). The seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere.

Photo credit: Margaret Pond

On December 11, 2007 TELLING STONES dedication began with Mapua students leading the singing of the New Zealand national anthem. The ceremony continued with speakers, more singing and then the children filling the time capsule.

Photo credit: Margaret Pond

Photo credit: Margaret Pond

Maiko and her mother Chizuko were present from Sendai, Japan for the dedication. In 1998 Maiko had been eleven when she helped to fill the time capsule of the HIMEGURI sculpture in Sendai, Japan. It was moving watching her help the Mapua School children fill our time capsule for TELLING STONES.

photo credit Robert B Moore

Aproximately 600 pieces of artwork from children in New Zealand, Canada, Japan and the U.S.A filled this capsule.

After the dedication ceremony people relaxed as children explored the sculpture.

Sculptor Bruce Mitchell carved the three center stones on which people stand to cast a shadow to use the sundial. Here he is measuring one of the marble stones.

The finished stones have symbols for the seasons: the sun circle stands for summer; the star, for the equinox and for the alignments of the Pleiades star cluster and the star Antares; and the snow topped mountain triangle, for winter.

Christine Boswijk, sculptor and ceramic artist created the green ceramic time capsule which is placed in a steel box welded together by Patrick Maisey. The sarcophagus-like box is in the lobby of the Mapua School in Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand.

Principal of Mapua School, Rob Wemyss and Fred Stetson seal the ceramic time capsule and prepare to place it in the steel box.

A perfect fit, the capsule rests on a bed of sea shells inside the steel box made by Christine's husband, Patrick Maisey.

The capsule will be opened in 2015 along with the time capsules at the other four sites.

Traditional harakeke (flax) weaver Carol Greenall made special ketes (baskets) to hold the artwork from the various sculpture sites.

I am honored to have work of skilled New Zealand artists as part of the TELLING STONES sculpture project.