A daughter commissioned this piece for her mother, whose last name begins with the letter ‘H.’ This custom forged ‘H’ was to be hung on the tile backsplash behind the kitchen stove. Stylistically, the new piece needed to complement an existing kitchen light fixture with a half-penny snub end scroll design.
When designing this piece, I included collaring and a variety of scrolls for visual interest.
Disclaimer!: I tend to make my own versions of established scrolls/elements. I’m more interested in the flowing form and shape of the elements, rather than producing exact replicas of traditional scroll work.
The ‘traditional’ scrolls that served as inspiration for this piece, however, are as follows: half-penny snub end scroll, fishtail scroll, flared/beveled scroll. And whatever the name is of the scroll with that little ball on the end.
The forged letter ‘H’ started off life as 1/2”-square steel bar. A power hammer was used, along with a good ol’ hammer and anvil, to shape the steel. Flat dies on the power hammer were used in conjunction with a fuller for spreading. The fuller left behind that nice texture you see there on the steel.
I sealed the piece with paste wax, buffing it by hand to a nice shine. I installed the ‘H’ on the backsplash in the Horseshoe Bay, TX, kitchen. The final dimensions of the letter are 18” tall x 14 wide x 1.5” deep.
There’s a LOT of welding in this piece, plus texture and depth every where you look!
My guiding vision for this piece was ‘a habitat for birds.’ (One must always have a guiding vision for a piece.) Ultimately, I ended up with that habitat, as there are ‘pockets’ within the ‘branches’ where a bird could seek shelter from the cold weather.
For this sculpture, I made five similarly shaped elements/pieces. The five elements were then pieced together to form the final sculpture, ‘Snowy Cedar.’
I wanted to explore how the repetition of elements brings cohesiveness to a piece. Additionally, making the sculpture in this fashion was the only way I could get the depth I wanted, all while getting access with my torch.
The metal stock used in this piece are my old stand-bys: 1/4” round rod and 1/8”x1/2” strap. I oxy-fueled my tanks dry on this one!...
‘Wing’ was inspired by cicada wings delivered to me by my kitty, Tater Tot. Granted, the wings were delivered sans cidada, but I digress...
Right there on my studio's cement floor, I free-hand drew that wing's outline on an enlarged scale. I was delighted at how easily the initial shape flowed from my hand. I needed to make no modifications or tweaks. It was a good sign! With a few more strokes of the chalk, I drew in the inner lines. I was so excited that the shapes flowed so easily through my hand.
I usually make my tack-and-bend sculptures with 1/4” round stock. For this piece, however, I knew that I wanted to use exclusively 1/8” x 1/2” strap. The strap’s dimensions would provide the visual depth for the wing, all while remaining thin enough on its other axis, which was critical to the final look I wanted to convey. (Does that make any sense at all, folks?...)
To elevate the wing, I incorporated a forged and tapered piece of 1/2” square stock to the bottom of the wing, basically making the wing's 'stem' which, in turn, is affixed to the rectangular base of the sculpture.
I sealed the piece with three coats of Permalac -- my trusted, go-to, clear lacquer -- that I use for my sculptures. ‘Wing’ measures 18” tall x 9” wide x 5” deep.
One day while aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, I noticed the overhead bins were decorated with screenprinted drawings from a kindergarten class. The drawings were of typical things you’d expect 5-year-olds to draw: Houses, the sun, flowers... My eye was drawn to two ducks in particular, a bevy of smaller ducks following behind.
I made a sketch of one of the goofy-looking adult birds and noted it as a ‘funny duck’.
Back in my studio, inspiration struck and I began teasing out a shape from my cocktail napkin musings. ‘Nesting Bird’ is the result.
She’s a whimsical bird. She’s not ‘elegant’ like some of my other bird sculptures, nor is she trying to be! ‘Nesting Bird’ is more akin to my other lighthearted sculptures, such as ‘Chicken Creature’ or ‘Nabalini’.
‘Nesting Bird’ is oxy-fuel welded using 1/4” round rod and 1/8” x 1/2” strap. Her nest is 1/2” square stock, drawn out and textured using my Little Giant power hammer. Final dimensions for this sculpture are 13” tall x 12” wide x 7” deep.
I'm pleased this sculpture will be nesting and on display at Third Coast Gallery in Galveston, TX, until she finds a permanent roost!
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