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Sculpting The Lancer

by Scott Zanio on May 19, 2017 From Industry Focus

How the ROMER Absolute Arm Makes Installation Art Projects Logistically and Economically Feasible
California artist, painter, sculptor, small business owner and renaissance man Lance Jost will be the first to tell anyone who asks that making a living in the creative arts world is not easy. While Jost was educated in the classical techniques of his profession, he has learned over the years that leveraging new technologies can help him be much more productive, deliver projects much faster, and take on commissions that he would otherwise be unable to do. One of the services Jost has embraced in recent years is scanning technologies available from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, particularly those services featuring the versatile and portable ROMER Absolute Arm. When Jost was approached by California Baptist University in Southern California about developing a 10-foot-tall version of the University’s mascot, The Lancer, he knew exactly how he could quickly deliver a beautiful new piece of installation art for their new events center, while keeping a sharp eye on his cost structure for the project.

About California Baptist University
California Baptist University (CBU) is one of the top private Christian colleges and universities in Southern California. CBU offers bachelor’s, master’s and credential programs in Riverside, San Bernardino and online.

California-Baptist-Lancers
The Lancer is the mascot for the California Baptist University in Southern California.

The beautiful 160-acre main campus of California Baptist University is situated in the heart of Riverside’s historic Magnolia Avenue district, just a short drive from popular beaches and mountain resorts. CBU was founded in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention, and as of Fall 2016 the University enrolls 9,157 students. Blessed by their geographic location, the University features an outdoor Aquatics Center that is open year-round to students and athletes alike. 

The Lancer
One of the finest aquatic centers in the Inland Empire, the $1.2 million Lancer Aquatic Center was constructed in 1998. Since its opening, the Aquatic Center has hosted several teams, tournaments and other events, including the CBU men’s and women’s water polo and swimming teams, age group programs, swimming and water polo lessons. Jost completed a 25’ x 25’ mosaic of The Lancer in 1997 above the Aquatic Center, providing a strong three-dimensional symbol of the University’s mascot to the center. When planners started collecting bids for what turned out to be an ambitious project featuring a 10’ tall statute, they approached Jost for his proposal. Already known to the University for a 3½-foot wide bronze bible for California Baptist University in Riverside, California, project planners were confident in Jost’s ability to deliver an aesthetic and artistically sound rendering of the University mascot. 

Metrology to the Rescue
In the formative days of his career, Jost would have been very challenged if he accepted The Lancer commission. Taught in a classic technique called the Point Up Process, Jost was educated to take a measurement from a point from a maquette and multiply it to scale up to a life-sized sculpture. The Point Up device that sculptors used for centuries is a pointing needle that can be set to any position and then fixed. As an enlarging tool, it is effective but very time consuming – and it is not known for producing very accurate results. The net effect of this methodology is that the artist must spend a lot of time refining his design as he scales it up from a model to the actual work, all of which are slow and costly means to work on a large piece of installation art. Without a modern technique, sculpting The Lancer would be a very time consuming and very expensive process.

In recent years, Jost has begun to leverage a new approach to scaling his projects that was only a dream when he was training to become the artist that he is today. Although metrology, the study of measurement, has been around since the late 1800s, tools that enable people like Lance to get rapid, accurate renderings of a design have not. This is where the ROMER Absolute Arm from Hexagon made The Lancer project possible for an owner/sculptor like Jost. Focusing on creating a 10-inch version of The Lancer statue, Hexagon’s metrology service professionals were able to rapidly scan his model quickly and easily scaling the design to the required 10’ final dimensions. With the help of Kelly Hand at Satellite Models (selected due to the organization’s extensive experience with large sculpture projects) of Belmont, CA, The Lancer was CNC machined to the exact proportions specified by the ROMER Absolute Arm scanning process.

Romer-Absolute-Arm-helps-make-Lance-Jost-a-more-productive-and-more-accurate-sculptor 

  From 10 inches to 10 feet, the ROMER Absolute Arm helps make Lance Jost more a productive and more accurate sculptor.

Most importantly, however, manufacturing intelligence services from Hexagon are what enabled Jost’s operation to stay on time, and on budget. Since he has very limited manpower resources (himself), his time must count when he is working on a commission. Because the metrology work is fast and very affordable, he can build those costs and time allotments into his workflow to become more efficient and accurate. In this way, the ROMER Absolute Arm truly provides the quality and productivity his operation demands to remain profitable. 

New Facility and Dedication
In 2017, California Baptist University in Riverside completed a $74 million events center on campus. Seating 5,200 people and encompassing 153,000 square feet, the campus events center is home to Cal Baptist’s men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams. The space includes a chapel program that serves 5,000 students per week, and an indoor facility for large events like graduation and student orientation sessions. Opened May 4, 2017, students and visitors encounter The Lancer statue as they enter the events center. Initially installed on April 24, The Lancer is sited in front of the events center, and delivers the dual impact of inspirational icon and aggressive, intimidating symbol to visiting teams that they are in hostile territory. A video of The Lancer being installed is available here.

The Lancer statue outsite the new campus centre

The Lancer statue is sited outside the new campus events center

Naturally, such a successful program would accept nothing short of national caliber installation art to be constructed at their facility. In May 2017, the University dedicated the events center and The Lancer in a special ceremony held at the new facility. 

Thanks to his artistic skill and modern advanced manufacturing capabilities available from the ROMER Absolute Arm and Hexagon’s premier team of metrology services professionals, The Lancer will be unveiled and enjoyed by students, athletes and visitors alike for decades to come. 

Scott Zanio

Scott Zanio is a Metrology Sales Engineer at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. Zanio collaborates with customers in the Lake Forest, California area to provide optimized measurement solutions for unique engineering challenges. With deep metrology, hardware, software, design tools, simulation and product lifecycle skills, Zanio adds value to projects by tailoring deliverables to specific needs, applications and budgets.