Research

Hay Ball on the loose

Hay Ball

What is that on top of that car? This is the question many in Portland have asked themselves when they see a Toyota Yaris with a ball of hay on top of it.  Who owns this perfectly round ball of hay? None other than USM Professor of Sculpture Michael Shaughnessy.  How did he create this unique conversation piece?  For a couple of days, he weaved twine and hay together to create the ball, which is 2 1/2 feet in diameter. Its been extensively photographed and even has its own Facebook page!

Two years after rolling out of his garage, the Hay Ball is now ready to be introduced to the rest of the country as an experiment in human interactions.  Professor Shaughnessy is taking Hay Ball  on a solo two-month journey, inspired by the journey taken by John Steinbeck some 52 years ago which resulted in his famous travelogue. The trip will be documented by video cameras attached to his vehicle. The end product of this research project will be a video and book compiling Hay Ball's persona and the lessons taught/learned about human nature and interpersonal relationships.

Here is a link to the Portland Press Herald article published on July 31, 2012. 

Want to be part of the fun? Help Hay Ball's dreams come true by visiting the Wonderment journey page and join the team.

Research Mission

To support research, scholarship and creative activity to: promote knowledge, discovery and practical application to advance Maine's economy, communities and the quality of life for Maine citizens; to strengthen classroom education and transform the lives of students through real world learning opportunities; and to support faculty and staff commitment to excellence in scholarly accomplishments regionally, nationally and internationally.