Louisville Magazine

MAY 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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mainstreetassociation.com 106 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 5.19 of Michael Jordan flying toward a dunk, Nike-image style. Semones spots a similar open space above another rack and suggests he can make a silhouette of the business's oversize- O logo, then purchases a pair of bright-purple sneakers on the way out the door. He is unfiltered and uncalculating. You get the sense that Semones puts equal ef- fort into a $50 and a $50,000 job. He says his portfolio is now built, and he'd like to streamline his business. He's engaged to be married and has a preschool-aged daughter, Layla, at home near Seneca High School with his wife-to-be and a grade-school-aged daughter, Elisa, from his previous marriage, whom he sees every other weekend. He's looking forward to his first vacation in four years, a trip to the Florida Keys scheduled for the week of the Kentucky Derby. "I want to simplify a little bit," he says. "Honestly, I don't know what (income) I make. I don't make a whole lot. But I do think about how to retire and how to put my youngest one into Catholic school, at least kindergarten and elementary, to get her exposed to it." A week or so later I return to the West Main Street shop he has rented for the Knot project. At a far end of the shop, one crewmember paints pieces bright orange, while a second employee up front does final welds and finish-grinding. Semo- nes looks a bit stressed. e project is not running on schedule. In a few days, some of its painted sections will be moved to the underpass. at's where the steel meets the road, so to speak, and the modifications he's making as fabricator must fit together onsite to form the architect drawings. Early on, the architects produced a prototype of the structure and sent it to Semones. "I did one section that probably took me two days," he says. "I thought, 'is'll be easy.'" But then came changes and a second prototype for which, he says, he underestimated his costs in time and materials. He soon realized he couldn't do it in sections in the smaller shop he had set up at the time, so he moved into the huge space on West Main, where he could fit the full length of the Knot. He thought up ways to splice together some pipes at the installation, where welding would be impossible, and solved the problem of grounding the piece by welding lower sections to heavy steel plates. Now, he's an- ticipating the challenge of fitting sections together from front to back and having them all remain level. Any pipes even just a quarter of an inch out of alignment will, as they're connected down the line, threaten to compound that variance to untenable dimensions. In the end, Semones will have sum- moned all of his skills — as fabricator, as craftsman, even as artist — to untangle the Knot. "Probably the best way to put it: Jeremy is literally doing something that we couldn't find somebody with a computer to do," says Brian Phillips, the architect who has been working with him. "He's fearless in the right way. He's willing to take things on that others wouldn't."

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