St. John’s University Flame Sculpture
Queens, NY

Gold-leaf over Fiberglass, with Hammered Bronze Base, 2009

St. John’s University commissioned Joseph Jaroff to create a symbolic torch sculpture to crown the top of their new university center. Knowing the flame would be visible from all angles of the campus, and even further when lit at night, Jaroff worked to create distinct flame peaks that torque around a central core, so that the fire would be readable and dynamic from 360°.  Designed to glint in the sunlight, the twelve and a half foot high iconic torch was first hand sculpted in clay, digitally scanned and then “printed” in fiberglass.  This structure was then further carved and refined by the artist before being gilded with over one hundred square feet of gold-leafing.  The golden flame was then attached to a hammered bronze base, similar to a classic Olympic-style caldron, to complete its symbolic presence as a beacon of knowledge.