April 12, 2010
Gnome - world record set by Iowa State University
AMES, Iowa, USA -- Iowa State University's Reiman
Gardens is now home to a 15-foot tall, 3,500-pound
garden gnome, created by Andy and Connie Kautza in Wausau,
Wisc., which sets the new world record for the Largest
Photo: Artist Andy Kautza, of Wausau,
Wis., takes a metal tip off the peak of the largest
concrete gnome in the world. Photo by Ronnie Miller/The
previous Guinness world record for the Largest
Gnome was a gnome named Chomsky in upstate New York
on the Kelder's
Farm. Chomsky is only 13 feet, 6 inches tall and stand
in front of miniature golf course.
Largest Concrete Gnome is made from concrete and stands
a whopping 15 feet tall and weighs in at more than 3,500 pounds.
Created by Andy and Connie Kautza in Wausau,
Wisc., the Largest
Concrete Gnome in the world traveled 400 miles to
its new home in Ames, Iowa.
Gardens spent about $8,000 - all from privately raised
funds - to have him built at National Rock and Sculpture in
Wausau, Wis., which specializes in sculptures for amusement
parks and zoos, and facility director Teresa McLaughlin expects
the gardens will recoup three times that sum from increased
Largest Concrete Gnome will enjoy the company of a
cohort of about 20 other miniature gnomes painted and decorated
by different Iowa organizations. By day, the gnomes may pose
as sculptures, but legend has it, they’re active at night
and eager to help in the garden.
Garden gnome figurines date back to the
1800s and are considered to be a good luck charm for gardeners
Teresa McLaughlin, of Reiman
Gardens, said the world's
Largest Concrete Gnome is already getting a lot of
attention, which is not surprising to Kautza who is used to
stopping traffic when delivering his creations.
"There is some fun just putting your
arms around him and getting your picture taken," said McLaughlin.
Largest Concrete Gnome facts
• The giant gnome is 15 feet tall, weighs
3,500 pounds and required one cubic yard of concrete, which
is enough to pave about 20 feet of sidewalk.
• The gnome consists of two layers of concrete,
including a scratch coat that covers its reinforced, iron-welded
cage and metal lath, and a second coat that was sculpted,
painted and sealed.
• Underneath the nine colors of paint
custom-mixed by Sherwin-Williams, the gnome is painted black
to add definition to the textures and creases of the sculpture.
The gnome will be officially unveiled on
April 22. Leaders at the facility will dedicate the pudgy
giant during a ceremony, when it will receive its official
name. Among the early entries in an ongoing contest: Knickernobbins,
Ginkgowinkle, Whataschnozzle, Gnorbert, Gnelson, Gnormous
and, rather inexplicably, Gilbert.
The celebration officially kicks off
at noon on April 22, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, with
a tree-planting ceremony with former Iowa First Lady Christie
Vilsack, Iowa State Dean of the College of Agriculture Wendy
Wintersteen and Ames Mayor Ann Campbell.
The gardens are located at 1407
University Blvd. near Jack Trice Stadium.
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April 12, 2010