Meal time makes me happy. For years, my husband and I have jokingly referred to knives, forks, and spoons as 'instruments of pleasure.' I designed and made this wall sculpture in homage to these utensils.
This knife, fork, and spoon are made of sheet steel. I cut the steel with my Beverly shear, textured and hammered the metal into shape using my swage block, and edged the pieces with 1/4" round to give some depth to the utensils. The sculpture attaches to the wall via a 'nesting tubing' design I came up with a couple of years ago.
The knife is 60" tall, with the fork and spoon a tad shorter.
'Instruments of Pleasure' is for sale, and I imagine it in a restaurant or a contemporary kitchen. Having been sealed with a clear lacquer to retard rusting, it's also suitable for hanging outdoors, such as in an outdoor dining area. If there's a gallery out there that'd like them for an exhibit for a while, I'm amenable to that opportunity as well.
A couple of years ago I bought a 25-lb. Little Giant power hammer from Robert Womack in Goldthwaite, TX. A power hammer is a mechanical or air-driven machine (mine is mechanical) with upper and lower dies serving as the hammer and anvil. Most power hammers are controlled with a foot pedal, leaving the smith's hands free to work the metal stock.
I probably paid too much for my Little Giant but, what the heck, they don't make 'em anymore. No, seriously, they quit making the 'old style' Little Giant in 1929, and my power hammer dates from 1926. (The entire production of Little Giants ceased in the 1980s).
According to official records, eight Little Giant power hammers were shipped via train on 3/20/1926 to Southern Implement Supply Company in Dallas, TX. I've got a hunch my hammer never left Texas after that date, just scooted about the state a bit until landing in my Austin-based studio in 2011.
Enter Sid Suedmeier. Refurbishing these machines is Sid's specialty, besides being one heck of a nice guy. Sid actually bought the Little Giant plans and remaining parts inventory from the now-defunct company and is THE source for parts and maintenance needs.
Additionally, Sid hosts a Little Giant rebuilding class every March. I attended this year and learned how to repair and maintain my power hammer so that it runs as well as the hammer Sid tore down and rebuilt before our very eyes over a snowy weekend in Nebraska City, NE.
I returned home and evaluated my power hammer based on what I learned at the class. I ordered parts and sought advice. Now I'm ready to pour some new babbitt bearings with the lead ingots Sid mailed. I can't even believe I know what that last sentence means, that's how much I learned that weekend.
I'll keep folks posted on the progress of my power hammer rebuilding project...
Pictured above is my 25-lb. Little Giant in its 'before' state, our March class of about 25 attendees, and Sid himself in mid-lecture.
These ‘Riveted Stars’ were commissioned by a client who wanted parting gifts for the outgoing officers of a non-profit organization. A budget was agreed upon and, design-wise, I was asked to incorporate a star (one of the organization’s symbols).
After several reiterations, I struck upon the design pictured here: an open-ended, freeform star, riveted in several points for structural form as well as visual interest.
‘Riveted Stars’ are art in their own right, if not perfect eye-catching paperweights.
Half-inch square rod was the stock material from which I forged these stars. Each star is approximately 5.5” in diameter.
‘Chirp!’ is a sculpture I’m donating to 5 x 7 SPLURGE, an event where the proceeds support AMOA-Arthouse exhibitions and public programs right here in Austin, Texas.
On Thursday, April 4, more than 1,000 original works of art created by emerging and established contemporary artists will be available for purchase at the Jones Center.
Each 5 x 7 artwork -- including my sculpture ‘Chirp!’ -- can be bought for $100 by AMOA-Arthouse members and for $150 by non-members. Click here for more information about 5 x 7 SPLURGE or to purchase tickets.
I’m grateful to Libby Tilley, Director of External Affairs, for enlightening me: the 5 x 7 SPLURGE event includes sculpture as well (as long as two of the three dimensions don’t exceed 5 x 7). Otherwise, I’d have thought only canvases measuring 5” x 7” were eligible.
‘Chirp!’ measures 8” x 6” x 5”. I used the tack-and-bend technique and my torch to turn steel strap and 1/4”-round rod into this warbling little creature.
I’m pleased to support the Austin Museum of Art and its programs with the donation of ‘Chirp!’.
Back stories and latest goings-on in the studio