I know a guy named Buddy, and he’s the world’s most awesome postman. He’s also a very thoughtful husband who wanted to surprise his wife with a unique gift. I think we managed to keep the project secret, so she truly will be surprised!
Buddy asked me to make a hummingbird. This bird would reside inside, as homage to the hummingbirds that frequent Buddy’s backyard.
Over consultations at the mailbox, we honed in on details, such as having the hummingbird hang over a window in the living room. I felt the hummingbird would ‘disappear’ all alone and need a reason to be there. I struck upon the idea of a vine with flowers to accompany the bird. The vine is constructed partially of bailing wire. (And any chance I get to incorporate bailing wire into a project, I’m pretty much sold on the idea. I assure you, however, no duct tape was used in this project!)
I now had two elements -- the bird and the vine -- that needed to ‘hang together’, both figuratively and literally. So I forged a third element -- a custom bracket -- with two prongs as the hangers. The bracket has an organic look and is a wispy continuation of the vine which the hummingbird is exploring.
I imagine the vine on the left and the hummingbird on the right, but someone else might choose to orient them differently. That’s the beauty of this piece: it’s interactive and dynamic. There are also two little flowers on the vine which are removable and may be oriented as desired. Or perhaps it’s winter and you choose to remove the flowers for the season...
This project utilized three primary techniques in my metalworking tool kit: Tack-and-bend, hammered sheet, and blacksmithing.
The hummingbird was formed from 1/8” welding rods using the tack-and-bend approach with the oxy-fuel torch. The vine is made from bailing wire and welding rods using the oxy-fuel torch as well. The two removable flowers are made from hammered sheet. The bracket was blacksmithed from 1/4” round rod using my reliable old hammer and anvil.
The hummingbird is a petite 4” tall with a 3” wingspan. The vine is about 8” tall.
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