I now have explored making peace poles out of many things - stone, stainless steel, copper, Corten (weatherable steel), wood, bronze, steel, resin, etc. I even tried making a peacepole out of aluminum soft drink cans (hey, it's recycling). I continually explore and experiment to see what else can be created.
Where was this when I was in college?
Halfway through they found the box numbered zero. They groaned that there was no number zero and the whole numbering system was off and they were going to have to open every one of the boxes to see which languages were on which and from that try to determine who was supposed to get which one.
“It does have a real life with our students, for sure... I remember when you told me that you wanted a peace pole that would appeal to school-age children. Something "off beat" that might have a sense of humor - causing a person to think in a different way. Your goal continues to be accomplished! That was one "outside the box" idea that works each time the pole moves to a new class and school. “I'm so glad you shared that one and didn't just dismiss the thought out of hand.”
Ya work and ya work and ya work, and then some flippant quip uttered (on a peace pole) in period of boredom and frustration turns out to be the simple solution. Trying to find such solutions is why I keep working on new designs for peace poles.
A bit more about why I make peace poles is in the middle of an article at this link on another site about people who choose less lucrative careers in order to do work more meaningful to them than making money.
An art dealer asked me if I could make mobiles for her. She had had an artist making them for her, but he had a drug problem and she had to stop working with him. Her goal had been to establish an artist as a creator of them and then try to get a commission for a large one in a commercial building. She asked if I had ever made a mobile.
As my mind raced to formulate the answer on the spot, it occurred to me for the first time in decades that I had begun making mobiles when I was 7 years old. At that time, when my friends were playing baseball and collecting baseball cards, I was collecting pictures of mobiles and stabiles, made by the famous artist Alexander Calder, that I cut out of magazines. In my bedroom I created versions of my own. Decades later it was a Calder-inspired 45-foot-long mobile I made for display in front of an art museum that led to a commission that introduced me to peace poles. So, yes, I could make mobiles for the art dealer, but in the end I was too busy working on peace poles and didn't.
However, it also caused me to remember that when I was 7 years old, in school one spring an art teacher told our class that we were going to make 3D paper bunnies for Easter by rolling paper into coils. I went to her after she had given us the directions and asked if I had to make a bunny again. She always appeared not to like children and snapped, "Well, what else would you make?"
"I don't know. A horse?"
"How would you make a horse?"
I tried explaining. She didn't get it, but snapped, "Ok. Ok. Go ahead."
When the other students were arranging the finished projects for display, they treated my horse as though it were high art in need of special protection. One student came to my desk to check with me to make sure that the way they were handling it was okay. It was the first thing I ever did in school that the other students responded to in a positive way. It also was the beginning of the feeling, shared by many artists, that our work really wasn't that good, but only good enough to have fooled some people into thinking it was - which is how I always feel when people are impressed with something I have created. I always wish it were better. Which leaves me continually trying to make it so. Like with peace poles. And other art into which I could not resist diving.
Maybe that is my artist's statement. "I'll try to do better."