Bent Forks?

Ever wonder where they find those interesting wedding reception name place folders?

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Well, for the one hundred and twenty guest at a wedding next month… I made them!

Sounds easy doesn’t it.

Wowwww Noooo.

I was asked if I could do the job and I thought “how hard can it be. Ya just bend some forks”.

Then I started thinking about it and decided they all needed to be perfectly balanced and matching in order to look good.

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So I made a small tool. The answer to all things metalworking.

It has been said that a blacksmith will spend 5 hours making a tool which will save him 5 minuets of work. Well I am not that bad,   but I did NEED the tool!

Just a small bender to make the curves identical each time.

Then a stand to hold it still…

Then a designated clamp to hold the fork flat on the bottom.

Etc etc etc.

But it was something new…. And that is what I like doing, new things.

Hopefully they are fun, and cool.

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So what do you think of the fork place holders?

Leave me a comment below of just email me at

steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Oh, one more thing, if you need to set up place cards at your next function… I have a tool for that!

Making Rivets

I am currently creating a walk through residential gate. To add interest, I am doing some of the fastening in the “old school” riveted style.

It’s a labor intensive technique but well worth the effort when you see the finished result.

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Here is what’s involved:

Step one: forge down the connecting piece so it can be attached.

Step two: drill a hole through the top and the base.

Step three: insert a rod thorough the two holes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Step four:   heat the end of the rod until it is red hot.

Step five: use a light hammer to peen the ends over to form the rivet.

Step six:   flip the whole thing and start over with the other side!

 

Now, I just have do that for every other joint in the piece. But as you can see, the final effect is going to be stunning.

It’s not finished yet so I cannot show the whole gate. But trust me it is looking good.

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As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions…

Email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com or just use the form below.

 

How Does It Happen?

I often get asked about the process of creating a piece with a client.  How does it happen and what /  when / and how does it develop?

So I thought I would walk you through a design session.

I was asked to help create something for and anniversary gift.  The client informed me it was their 9th, and therefore the “iron” anniversary.

I was glad she knew… because I had no idea.

She had wanted to use a phrase from their wedding.  We talked about it and could not figure out the font and other mechanical aspects of the design.  So as we kicked the idea around and we landed on the concept of using her handwriting as the font for the phrase.

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her’s on the left… mine on the right

 

I thought I could trace the handwriting so that the laser could follow the lines and cut it out. Thus making her handwriting the actual script.

Sounded like a good idea… then I started trying to do it.

The process was slow but the effect was fantastic!

At the top of the panel we added a series of stars in the shape of a heart.

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raw metal with my rusted fingerprints

 

She wanted an aged bronze finish. So I painted the metal black, then covered that with a bronze finish. Steel wool and sand paper removed some of the bronze, exposing the black.

3It also removed some of the black to show the silver metal underneath.   I think the effect was a success.

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Well, that is how it is done. At least this time.

The fun part of my job is that each commission is different.

Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?

 

I always love hearing your comments.

You can send them via the form below or use the email steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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Come on Folks…Look Up!

stone 2aI was in a rental car parking garage recently.

On the 5th floor…

 

 

 

I looked out the windshield of my vehicle and saw the stonework on the other side of the street.

 

 

 

 

 

The building had beautifully carved details on the top of the window section… on the fifth floor!

 

 

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OK folks.  Look up!  There is beautiful craftsmanship all around you.

You just gota look!

 

But for today, I have done it for you…

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As always I love reading your comments:

Email me at   steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or

Use the form below.

Great Show Last Night!

Well the Friday opening has now come and gone and I had a great time!

The four artist represented were a great mix.  Beautiful art was everywhere!

Four of my five pieces have been purchased, but will remain in the gallery for the run of the show.  So come on down and see it for yourself.

At the same time, a lot of friends have asked me to post photos of the pieces I created for this show.  So here they are…

 

The collection comes from a series I call “Taking Flight”.  The pieces represent leaving your restrictions and taking off to freedom.

The first one is called riding the waves.  I saw pelicans on the beach flying in formation and riding the air currents over the waves.  So I recreated it with a series of 3D pelican cutouts flying over a piece of twisted and carved cedar driftwood.

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The second piece is a celebration of the hatching of a nest of loggerhead turtles.  They fight their way out of the sand nest and break free for a life in the open ocean.   I called it “Flight to the Sea”.

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The third sculpture is “Migration” and is a cluster of butterflies suspended from the ceiling and allowed to rotate with the air.  It was airbrushed to give it a slight coloration each one.

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Number four was the centerpiece of the butterfly collection.  It is entitled “Breaking Free”.  The five foot tall sculpture starts with a curved sheet of metal with parts of butterflies being cut and breaking out from it.  They develop more freedom and eventually break away and swirl around until they are free.

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Breaking Free is still available… if you have a place in your home which needs the spirit of butterflies…

And the last piece was another driftwood piece with butterflies circling around as they climb away to the sky.    It was entitled “Breaking Away II”

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So there you go.   I had a blast creating them and will be making more.  So stay tuned.

 

As always, I love hearing your impressions.

You can use the form below

or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

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The Show Opens Tomorrow

I have been invited to be part of a 4 person show at the Arts Council in Jacksonville.   And the opening reception is tomorrow!

Friday, June 5, from 5:30 to 7:30.

We are celebrating the sights you can see in North Carolina.

I will be showing with three fantastic 2D artist, Karen Edwards, Stephen Greer, and BF Reed.

If you have not seen their work…you must be falling short of your life’s goals!!!  I am very excited to have been invited to show with such talented folks.

I will be showing 5 pieces from my “Taking Flight” series.  They are all pieces designed to celebrate the freedom of breaking free.  You will see the freedom of butterflies, the escape of baby sea turtles from their sandy nest, pelicans riding the air currents over the swells … and more.

 

Here is a sneak peek at one of the pieces as I was trying to arrange the butterflies on their driftwood base.

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It will be a wonderful show and all four of us would love to see you at the opening Friday, June 5.

 

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“Chance Meeting”

This is a quick post of a piece I call “Chance Meeting”.

I am entering it in the “Teeny Ting Art Show” at the Wayne County Arts Council.

Anything was acceptable, but it could not be larger than 4 inches in any direction.

When I heard about the requirements I just had to give it a try.

So here is my entry…

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And here is a photo just to show the size.

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The show opens on Friday the 5th on North John St  in Goldsboro, NC.

…….Whatcha think?

 

Email me a steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or just use the form below.

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