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Hammering Man gearing up to get back to work

We’re pleased to announce Hammering Man reported to work today and should be fit for duty by the evening shift. Contractors are working to reattach his arm right now.

In case you haven’t noticed, Hammering Man has been on an extended medical leave of sorts. We turned him off last summer when we discovered a bulge in his shoulder while applying a fresh coat of paint. The diagnosis – the artistic equivalent of rotator cuff surgery. Contractors rebuilt the dual gear cone drive, electric motor and lead counterweight system that powers the arm. They also resurfaced and repainted his 18-foot, 1,900-pound arm.

The iconic, 48-foot tall sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky represents the working man. Since his installation in 1992 at the downtown Seattle Art Museum, Hammering Man has logged nearly 90,000 hours, resting his arm each evening and every year on Labor Day. All that repetitive motion added up to a lot of wear and tear on the sculpture, which is part of the city’s public art collection.

Hammering Man, sidelined due to disability in the midst of the recession, is an apt metaphor for the times. Last month, the economy posted its biggest job gain in three years. Perhaps Hammering Man’s return to work is a sign of better things to come? We hope so.