I Could Be On Your Coffee Table!

My “Art of Nature” collection was included in Schiffer Publication’s “Ironwork Today”.

And yes, it is a coffee table book.today

The book is a collection of art pieces created by metalworkers from all over the world.  There are 256 pages of beautiful art ranging from door knockers to huge outdoor sculptures.  All accompanied by discussions with the artist who created them.

There are 89 artist represented in the book.  As always they somehow decided that the only fair way to list them…is alphabetically… oh great!

……With a name like Zawistowski I am use to it.

But I was not last, thanks to a German named Heiner Zimmerman.

The book is a beautiful collection and I am proud to be part of it.

 

I’d love to hear your comments.

Email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

or use the form below.

 

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The Christmas Crane

Here it is !!

The “Christmas Crane” is my entry into the Wee Tree Show in Jacksonville next weekend.

crane 1

The Wee Tree Show is a part of the Onslow Caregivers, Inc 12th Annual Festival of Trees.

It runs from Sat Nov 22 at 10 am to Monday Nov 24th at 2pm.

There will be about 100 “Big” trees on display, in every style you can imagine.

But the part I am interested in is the Wee Tree Show.

What is a Wee Tree?

Well, I am glad you asked.  It is any tree you want it to be, but it has to be less than two feet in any direction.

The wee tree contest is a judged event where the overall winner is added to the “Permanent Collection” and re-shown each year.

Here is last years winner

… yes…I won last year. (So I had to show it to you again….don’t judge me)

Charlie Brown tree

The other trees are available to the public in a silent auction with the proceeds going to help Onslow County Home Health and Hospice.

It is a lot of fun.  There were about 20 trees entered last year.

This year I felt like I needed to go in another direction …crane 2

so I went industrial.

The Christmas Crane is all copper colored steel with balls attached to cables and tied at the cross pieces on the bottom of the tower.

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The star on top of the tree has a multi jointed drive shaft connecting it with a crank at the bottom of the tree, so the star can spin.

Be sure to try it out!  (Yes you can touch)

And speaking of the tower… yes it is a little crooked… but that makes it more lifelike… or is it just more fun to do it that way?  Oh well, anyway…

If you want to see some great Christmas decorations go to the National Guard Armory next weekend and kick off the holiday season with inspiration for YOUR tree.

And be sure to vote for your favorite Wee Tree.

As always, I welcome your comments.

Use the form below, or email me at: Steve@stephenzmetaldeisgns.com

Tiny Bird Houses

In my never ending quest to notice the art that most people just ignore, I have found something genuinely “charming”.

At a self serve gas station in Waynesville NC, I looked over to the split rail fence and noticed something on top of most of the rails.

Tiny wooden bird houses made to look like old mountain cabins. They were covered with moss which made them look like they had been there for years.

I thought I would share one of them with you.

tiny bird house

Just another example of art being all around us.

We just have to find it.

So open your eyes. There are great masterpieces all around you.

Let me know when you find a piece of unexpected art.

I’d love to see it.

You can use the form below,

or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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Amazing Sundial

I found this sun dial on our trip to the UK this summer.

It was about 15 feet up on a building… but then I am always looking up to see the stonework on the buildings…,

When it first caught my eye, I thought it was a great stone carving and it was… Moses and the Ten Commandments,  the gold sun and the Latin reference to God …but as I checked it out, I noticed that the (real) sun would move around the corner of the building as the day progressed.

There needed to be a second sundial on the other side of the corner to continue the clock. The second one was restructured to be accurate in the afternoon.

sundial s

Amazing!

 

It’s the little things that make art so much fun!

But, as you know, you have to stop and look around to find it.

 

I would love to hear your comments. You can use the form below,

or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

 

 

 

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Quality Art is Smart and Beautiful

I was recently at the Lenior NC sculpture festival. There were about 50 sculptors presenting about 140 sculptures.

The show has been going for 39 years, and they say next year will be even greater.

I had one piece entered in the show. It didn’t win, but it was purchased…and I kinda think that’s a win.

But I love celebrating quality work wherever I see it, and I saw a number of great pieces that weekend.   I also love art which shows ingenuity and craftsmanship…I call it smart and beautiful.

I met artist, Eric Isbanioly, a North Carolina artist, and was fascinated that he had created a coffee table.  It was very well crafted and very interesting.

elemental joe

You may not know without being told, the base of the table is a model of the coffee molecule. (It is a coffee table isn’t it?)

Eric named it “Elemental Joe”. There is even a little chemistry information on the website for those interested.

You can see more if his work at sTableMolecule.com, or email him at ericisbaniolydesigns@gmail.com

What People Will Go Through For Comfort

Here is a couple examples of exotic steps done for the purpose of making a bike seat comfortable.

They both come from England. Give them a look to see if you can justify all the engineering.

Number 1

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All those springs and extensions make the seat bounce a little more… why not add some cushion to the seat!

But it did look cool in its day, and it still works!

The owner let me ride it and I must say, it was better than if there were no springs… but still kind of stiff!

 

Number 2

And now here is a historical one I shot in a museum.

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This one is really involved,  and apparently, it cannot be used by short people.  Rube Goldburg could not have designed it better.

So I made a diagram to help the mechanically challenged out there.

bike seatStep 1:  the bottom of seat post # 4 is attached to bike

Step 2:  rider’s butt is loosely attached to seat #1

Step 3:  bike hits a bump creating upward pressure on post #4

Step 4:  that upward pressure is counteracted by butt weight at #1

Step 5: upper seat post #2 reacts by moving down on the pivots       attached to seat post #4

Step 6: as a result the spring attached to #2 stretches and allows the sear to travel downward

Step 7:  Butt at #1 feels less of the bump referenced in step 3

Not bad for 18th century engineering.

Lots of interesting things in this world…I just happen to find the weird ones.

If you have a comment send it to me with the form below,

or at Steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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Wild Looking Bikes of the UK.

The Wild Bikes of the UK

As you may know we spent a month in the UK this past summer. We had a wonderful time and were exposed to many things we had not seen before.

One of the interesting things I noticed was the number of bicycles used in the UK. I am a bicycle rider so it was especially interesting for me to see the volume of people using human powered machines.

As you can see by the photo below, (taken at the train station in Bath, England) a lot of people use bicycles!

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So, you know me, I started looking around for interesting looking bicycles. And trust me there were a bunch of unusual bicycles to photograph.

      Here is a selection of interesting ones I thought you might be interested in seeing…

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As in many cities, moving goods for businesses is often done on bicycles here is a perfect example of a bike made to carry cargo.  The front wheel linkage engineering is a little involved….but I guess that is what you need in order to get that box to carry your supplies.  And it makes it cooler too!

We saw a lot of these cargo style bikes, this one in Scotland. Slightly different still doing the same job.

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And they all were used as advertisement as well.

DSCN0859asI guess this was the original DUI vehicle… from the country side of central Scotland. The name says it all.

 

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Of course people always make variations and use them to their own needs. This one had been converted to carry two small children.

 

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I loved this bike. It flashes back to the big wheels of old… which were almost impossible to ride efficiently. But with the smaller wheel, it was written all over town.   And the pretty basket is a plus also.  I would love to find one of these for sale. I think it would turn some heads in the neighborhood.

 

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I call this one the industrial bike. It had a huge basket on the front to. They had to shrink the front tire in order to make it fit. Then to top it off, the kickstand has to be added to the front to balance out that big box so that the bike doesn’t fall over.

 

 

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This one was a lot of fun. I walked up to buy ice cream from this man and found him very interested in talking about his bike. It is a real bicycle that he actually rides to work with ice cream in the cooler. He mentioned that it probably weighs 200 kg which may be in my estimation about 440 pounds.

He did mention that he lives downhill from where he works, which makes his ride home much nicer. 

 

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And finally, a bicycle built for two.

                                      As long as you don’t mind the skeleton…

 

I am always looking for interesting things, and I found a lot on our trip to England. So I am sure I’ll be showing you more .

If you have any comments, you can use the form below…

or you can email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com.

 

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