Robert Harrison

Golner Residence, Helena, Montana

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Sculptural Fence, Spiral Stack and Entry Lanterns – 2012 -2014

Midge and Jerry Golner have been good friends for many years. Collectors and supporters of the Archie Bray Foundation, based in Phoenix, they came to Helena for the Bray’s 50th in 2001, and enjoyed the summer community so much that they decided to acquire a house in town. Over the course of a number of years they renovated both the interior and exterior of the house, including planting beautiful annual plant and flowerbeds.

In 2011, Midge asked me to think about reworking the standard chain link fence in the front of the house. It took a while, but together we hatched a plan to rework the old fence by incorporating small column-like posts filled with reclaimed Bray brick and ceramic shards. The call went out to the community for donations of potters’ shards, and they generously responded. During the summer of 2012 the project took shape, beginning with removal of the old chain link fence.

I enhanced the linear aspect of the fence sections between the posts with sinuous lines of reclaimed aluminum tubing. The old gate was stripped to its frame and reworked with aluminum tubing accents.

Midge asked about a sculptural piece for the back yard garden, so I designed and built a human-scale stack piece, echoing the fence in the front yard and highlighted with an extruded clay pipe chimney form, produced at the old Bray brick factory.

Golners 10a

Then in 2013, Midge inquired about the possibility of some sort of lights to compliment the fence and finish the front entry to the house. I had made some large hanging spiraling chandeliers for an installation at the Holter Art Museum a few years’ back and thought I would rescale the idea down to lantern size to fit the entryway. The result finished off the entire residence and at night the lanterns glow brightly with a bluish hue from the LED bulbs. Thank-you Midge and Jerry for being part of the Helena community and turning the exterior of your residence into a real show-stopper!