A Spirit Of Its Own was inspired by Jay Sawyer’s close friend and mentor, David McLaughlin, also a welder/sculptor. McLaughlin passed away in 2010 and bequeathed to Sawyer his coveted collection of steel shear rings, used in the construction of the trusses in hangars at the Brunswick Naval Air Station. His hope was that Sawyer would use the shear rings in other pieces. With that in mind, Sawyer created A Spirit Of Its Own using some of McLaughlin’s remaining shear rings.
“I think spheres are beautiful to start with. Some of them look good just sitting on the ground, but some of them deserve a better presentation and this is certainly one of them,” Sawyer said.
Davistown Museum of Liberty, Maine owns the rights to exhibit this sculpture and has given it as a long-term loan to the Portland Jetport.
Paul Bradbury, director of The Portland Jetport, feels A Spirit Of Its Own makes a perfect addition to the airport’s grounds, not only for its unique look and the shear rings’ aviation connection, but also because its spherical shape represents the globe, a common image of the airline industry.