“Art All Around Us” The Wooden Bike

Here is something I have never seen before…and I have seen a lot of things.

A wooden bike. It was in a shop in the Black Forest area of Germany.

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It is ridable and beautiful all at the same time.

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So, I thought it deserved a spot in the “Art All Around Us” archives.

It is a little more expensive than the $90 bike you may find in your local big box store, but it sure looks great

And for that I say thank you to the creator of the wooden bike. You didn’t have to create something so beautiful… but you did.

I would love to hear your comments or see examples of the All Around You.

You can contact me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or use the form below.

 

Remember, there is art all around us, we just need to look up and appreciate it.

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“Art All Around Us” The Pretzel King

While traveling in Germany I noticed there were a number of ways to advertise a business. Today we would just put up a sign that says, “Pretzels for Sale” or something like that.

Well, a long time ago, in Germany, they didn’t seem to do that.

As proof, I found this “sign” on a wall.

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They could have made a boring, written sign…but No!  They made it interesting and beautiful.  And for that, I celebrate them.

I thought, this guy was a real artist. And artist in stone carving… and apparently in pretzel making. He may have even been a pretzel king.

So I appreciated his work in stone carving…

just wished I could have tried his pretzels!

 

If you find some old guys interesting sign…I would love to see it too!

Contact me with the form below,

Or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

And remember, Art is truly all around us,  we just need to look up from our cell phones and see it!

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Mending a Broken Heart

 

The Bee Gees had a song, long ago, about mending a broken heart. They never really had an answer on how to do it…but it was a start.

Which leads me to the piece I have been working on for the last couple of weeks.

I was asked to create a piece of art for our local arts council’s Cre8 Gala. (http://jaxarts.com/annual-art-gala)

It is a fund-raising party supporting and celebrating all the wonderful opportunities our Arts Council makes available for the children (and adults) of Onslow county.

Artist were asked to create a piece of art on an 8” x 8” canvas (provided by the council) and donate it to the Cre8 Gala.

Well, as you know, I am an outside the box thinker and a metal artist… so mine is a little different from some of the others.

I have been experimenting with moving pieces lately and wanted to create something with movement for my 8×8.

After a little thought, why not come up with a cure for a broken heart. (Remember the Bee Gees reference from the first paragraph?)

That is right… I know how to fix a broken heart. And you can own this remedy for a small donation at the Cre8 Gala.

I want to make a short movie of the piece in action… but that will come later.

So for now, here it is.

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I call it “How to Mend A Broken Heart”

but you can call it yours, if you are at the Gala on September 14.

Tickets and more info are available at http://jaxarts.com/annual-art-gala

If you have any questions, would like to know more about the Gala, or just want to comment on the blog;

Feel free to contact me with the form below,

or at email steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com.

“Art All Around US” A Woodstove

My “Art all around us” project is all about finding something beautiful that did not have to be made beautiful. It is a celebration of the desire to make things better because it makes our lives better. So, I go about my daily routine keeping my eyes open for the little things that are special, and then sharing them, so others can enjoy them too.

It has been a wild spring for me. A lot of new clients and special orders have kept me away from sharing any newfound “Art All Around Us”.

But I have collected a lot of great examples and will be sharing them here over the next several months. So stand by!

And now, to get it going… I found a stove. Yes, a simple wood stove that only needed to be square and straight. But no, they wanted to make it special and beautiful. And they did!

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So, I celebrate this unknown craftsman for the effort he put into making something simple into something beautiful.

I would love to see your examples of the “Art All Around Us”.

Send them to me via email at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

or by using the form below.

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Anatomy of a “Start Over”

I took several weeks off this summer and was really raring to go when I got back. I could not wait to get back into the studio and start creating again.

I had planned and drawn a new project before I left. I even sent all the drawings to the laser cutter so they would be ready when I returned.

So, day one at the studio was all set…I thought!

I had a plan in my mind on how this whole concept was to work (more on that in a later blog post). The plan was to make the piece and then run with the idea for other pieces to create a series.

Sounded easy enough.

I do a lot of “pre engineering” so that the problems are all worked out before I actually start putting things together. It just is a lot easier that way. Plus when I am designing something new, it is stuck in my head and I think about it all the time. So when I wake up at 4:30am and have an idea in my head, there is plenty of time for “pre engineering”.

Except for this one!

I was not quite sure how this one was going to fit together. And that was kinda an important aspect of a piece which has a number of parts.

Well to make a long story short. It didn’t work the way I wanted it to.

I didn’t like it at all.

Enough talk.  Check it out.

Here is what I started with;

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Then I tried to put it together;

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Looked it over and changed some things;

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Then took it to the saw and cut it apart;

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As they say…back to the drawing board.

I don’t know if I just got rusty by being gone for so long, or just had a half-baked idea in my head in the first place. But it didn’t just roll off the table like I had hoped.

If you have had a failed project that you were able to rework into something good, I would love to hear about it…I need the inspiration.

Use the form below,

Or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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PS.  I did not give up on the idea. I reworked it for a while and came up with a great sculpture. But more on that later…

 

 

 

Locks of Love Bridge

 

 

We were in Germany this summer and found this bridge over the Rhine river. It had tons (yes tons) of locks attached to the railing. Now I understand that there are many bridges in the world where lovers attach a lock with their names on it, and then throw the key in the river, as a way of binding their love. But this was the first one I had seen… and it fascinated me.

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There were a lot of locks on this bridge! It is a big river and a long bridge. One of the guides in the area commented that there was a similar bridge in France where they were worried about the amount of locks, and specifically what their weight would do to the bridge. He was quick to point out there was no such concern here in Cologne and noted the differences between French engineering and German engineering.

(He was more concerned with all the men coming bank and jumping into the river to try and retrieve their key.)

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There are a lot of locks on the bridge. So many so that more recent lovers have had to be creative in where they place their locks. Any attachment will soon be covered with locks…or any lock will be covered with locks!

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Being an artist and a metalworker I looked closer at the thousands of locks and found a number of great/ interesting ones to share.

So here we go;

Many were animal designs, from turtles and lizards

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To fish and dogs

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Then of course there were the large vintage locks.

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All of them were interesting in their design and size.

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I liked the ones which showed some handmade work on them

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Then came the unusual locks.

Most seemed to have an Indian feel to them, I am not sure of their origion, just judging by the designs.

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And every now and then the metalworkers would add their own touch and make one from scratch.

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I wasn’t real sure of the idea behind these next three locks. I thought that giving away the shape of the key would kinda negate the whole purpose of having the lock. But check these out anyway.

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Then there is always that one guy who has to show his love as bigger than anyone else and, sure enough I could not miss the 10 inch lock near the far side of the bridge

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So if you are in Cologne, Germany, take some time to slow down and see the interesting ways people are “locking in” their love over the Rhine River.

But be ready, there are a lot of people ahead of you!

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on the bridge, or your photos of one you have found.

Send them with the form below

Or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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Turtles are Interesting…

All my life I have loved seeing the sea turtles in our area, so in looking for things as inspiration for my art they were a natural attraction.   Here is a sneak peek at some I am working on now.  I thought the sun shining through them was interesting.

I’ll show you the finished piece in a couple of weeks.