Art All Around US; Lost in Boone, NC

I am still on the lookout for the “Art All Around Us”.

Yep, those places where the craftsman did not have to make it artistic… but they did!

I noticed this building on a trip to Boone NC. it is not on the main road. It is not big or famous (as far as I know) and it looked unoccupied at the time.


The it is a fabulous building non the less. It did not hold a position of power. It is not big. But it is a great piece of craftsmanship.

Some bricklayers put their hearts and souls into this building, maybe a 100 years ago, because they wanted it to look nice…. and for that I thank them.


Keep your eyes open for the art that is all around you.

It’s there, we just need to notice it and appreciate it.


And if you see something, send me a picture I’d love to see it too.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the this

You can leave a comment by writing me at

You can email me at

Or just use the form below.

Art All Around Us; The Angel Handle

As you know, I am always on the lookout for the “Art All Around Us”.

Yep, those places where the craftsman did not have to make it artistic… but they did!

We were at a public building in Germany. That building had a door going onto the street.

And it had a door knob. But not just any door knob.

It was a fabulous piece of metalwork.

The piece represented an angel. It was stunningly simple, and complicated at the same time.

It was not  a doorknob to an important door.

And you know, the craftsmen did not have to make it that nice… but they did!

And for that, I thank them.


Keep your eyes open for the art that is all around you.

It’s there, we just need to notice it and appreciate it.

And if you see something, send me a picture I’d love to see it too.


As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the this one.

You can leave a comment by emailing me at

Or just use the form below;


Outer Space Art

I have been working on an “out of this world” project for the last couple of days.

It started when Dr Chris Barnes from White Oak High School, (here in Jacksonville), asked me to consider a new project.

He explained that there are only something like 35 astronauts in the whole US… and one of them is a grad. from White Oak High School.

I was amazed.

Christina Koch contacted the school and told them about her plans for the year 2019. Those plans included two tours on the International Space Station. And she asked Dr. Barnes if the school would like to send a piece of WOHS memorabilia into outer space.

…he said yes…

He then asked me if I would design something and submit it to NASA.

…and I said yes…

We decided one side would show the Viking head (for WOHS). And the other side show the space station.

I then took my computer drawing to the great folks at “I Need It Now Trophies” in Jacksonville. I got them hooked on the outer space idea, and watched Hatch go to work making the engravings.

We made 2 different sizes, so they would have a choice. (NASA still must approve them)

coin 1

The brass disks were polished and clear coated for protection.


It was fun to work on and I think they came out great.


So, watch the night sky next summer and see if you can catch a glimpse of the little brass coin flying around the world.


Your comments are always welcome. You can email me at, or use the form below.

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The Headless Saint?

I had the privilege to be in Bamberg, Germany this past summer. And as things go when, you are in old European cities, we went into one of the two large cathedrals in town.

And I saw something I just could not figure out…

There was a lot of art on display… much of it very old carvings and statues. I have always been fascinated with the beauty and skill involved in stone carving. So when I see something that would have taken months to create I pay attention to the details. It’s a kind of respect for the unknown artisans whose work is on display, but their names have been lost to time.

So when I saw this statue standing behind a pillar on the side of the alter area…I was interested.


I was taking photos of the sculptures…I looked up to see this priest standing there…. with his head in his hands!   No explanation, no name, no one looking at it but me. (except Claire, after I drug her over to it saying “girl, you ain’t going to believe what I found).

When I returned home I started researching it and found out that the depiction of a saint holding his own head is a common thing in art. Some still have the halo still on them.

And it has a name! Cephalophore. From two Greek words meaning Head – Carrier. Apparently some saints were said to have been beheaded and then got up and picked up their head and walked around … some for quite awhile.

Enough history.

Some unknown 14the century carver spent a lot of his time carving that saint’s statue. And it is wonderfully done.

It is just seemed a little unusual to see something like that in church…

Check it out for yourself. It’s in the Bamberg Cathedral and well worth the trip!


I love getting your emailed thoughts, so keep them coming.

You can email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns or use the form below.

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The Working Bike… A Nod to Summer

With the arrival of the pollen season, I mean spring, everyone getting out and exercising. I wanted to share photos of unique bikes I have collected.

I have shown you bikes before. (look here and here to see a few)   But the bikes I am interested in are ones that are not just for riding… they are for working!

Working bikes are seen everywhere in other countries. Everyone rides them.

Everyone except people here in the US.

It probably has something to do with the design of the cities in other countries. They are more centrally designed and easier to navigate. Think about a small town square and compare it to the freeway moving through Los Angles….see my point?

Well anyway, here are some that were just works of art!

Wooden detail for those who love old school racing boat looks…


This is the pick up truck version… used to haul kids.


And the ultimate working bike, (from Germany of course) …it even has an electric motor for additional assistance…


I love to bike and wish they were more usable in the US for hauling things and carrying babies…

But until they are, I’ll just appreciate the ones I find in other places.

If you see any interesting ones riding around, I’d love to see them.

Email me at

Or use the form below;

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Art All Around Us “That Building Under The Interstate”

As many of you know I am always on the lookout for the art that is all around us. This may be a little bit of a stretch, but it certainly attracted my attention.

I was driving through Richmond, VA recently and, as always, we marveled at a building that is built underneath I 95, (well almost).

So, as Claire sat there she googled “what is the building underneath I 95”.

And believe it or not there was an answer!

It was a train station built around the turn of the century. On the way back through town we took a detour and went down to see this fabulous building that we’ve only observed from the interstate at 65 miles an hour. (OK 70 mph)

Not just belting… but belting and supplies!

BUT before we got there, I saw a small building just on the other side of the road. It too is on Main Street in Richmond. But it is unused and has been unused for what looks like a long time. Let me tell you, I would love to have that building. It’s not nice looking now but it has good bones, fascinating windows, and even though it’s in a horrible location… it is hanging on.

Some carpenters and some bricklayers put their hearts and souls into this building 100 years ago because they wanted it to look nice…. and for that I thank them.

I just hope someone in Richmond notices the beauty of what it is and does something about it.

Keep your eyes open for the art all around you.

It’s there, we just need to notice it and appreciate it.

And if you see some, send me a picture I’d love to see it too.

You can leave a comment by writing me at

or you can just use the form below.

Sourdough is on the Way!!

I have been fascinated with making bread for several years now. The process of mixing a few ingredients and having it react to yeast and heat to end up as a loaf a bread, just amazes me.

But the old school bread, sourdough, is one I never tried. It is one of the best flavors, and also one of the most involved processes.

The dough has to be cultivated using factors that are present in the air all around us. And to take advantage of that process you need to make a “starter” dough to use with all the other loafs to be made.

And that is where we are now. I always want things to be handmade around here, so I needed a piece of custom pottery to grow and store the starter.

I contacted Erin Englert of McCool Clay in Colorado Springs CO ( and asked if she would take on the job.

Well, you know the answer. And the package recently arrived.

I opened it carefully and was thrilled to see her work.

The black clay and the lighter glaze accented the carving of the grains of wheat on the outside.

The size and shape will work perfectly.

So about a week from now the starter will be ready and the bread will be rising.

I wish there was some way to share the smell….


If you have any sourdough hints, feel free to send them to me. I would love the help.


I was in the back yard the other evening and noticed one of my first folded dogs.

Yep the granddaddy of them all. He was just sitting there enjoying the sun…

I really enjoyed designing and making those guys. They were little dogs made from one piece of steel, folded down the back.

I made a bunch of those guys. Me and the 5 members of “Rusty and the Crew” were great studio partners for a couple of years.

Some of the first ones I made, as I was experimenting with their design, have lived in front of my studio for several years now… There used to be about 8 of them out there, just hanging out, talking to each other… chilling in the sun and cold alike.

Well, some of the local neighbors have… “apparently”…taken a few of them.

I don’t look at it as stealing,

I look at like, adopting a pet from the pound.

Apparently, they cared enough to love them,  take them home, and love them!

I’d like to think they have gone to good homes.  I believe they did…


They cared enough to get the very best!


I hope nothing of yours has been “adopted” by someone else… but if they have I would love to hear your story.

Use the form below and let me know how it went…

Original Schlenkerla Rauchbier Bamberg’s famous smoke/ beacon beer!!

While in Germany this past summer, we saw many new and interesting things.

Like Bamberg.

Bamberg is a city we “found” on our last trip. Now be aware, Bamberg is place that a lot of people have found in the past …and on that day, we found it. So don’t think it was a big secret… it was just new to us.

But Bamberg is a beautiful old city, with two cathedrals lots of buildings several centuries old, and a whitewater river running through it.

All that was a huge attraction for us, but what really got our attention was when our host told us about the famous

Schlenkerla Rauchbier

Bamberg’s, world famous…… smoke beer.



And to add interest to the idea, it was also infused, somehow, with a bacon flavor!

We found a redneck’s dream in Germany!!!   Smoke and bacon in a beer!!

I had to try it. We went to an Italian restaurant (we had been eating German food for 2 weeks by then and were looking for something different) and found it on the menu.  But I learned, every restaurant has it on their menu because it is the famous local beer. (For that matter, every city seemed to have its own specialty beer… and wine.)

But back to the smoke beer.

To make it even better, did I say, it is supposed to even have a beacon infused flavor!

Well I tried it… not that big of a deal….

But it was interesting to try something new…and isn’t that what traveling is all about.

I’d love to hear your comments about this or other situations where you tried new things.

Send me and email or just use the form below.

“Art All Around Us” The Bored Angel…

I am always looking for interesting art. you know, the kind that has something to say. When you pair that quest with my “Art All Around Us” quest I often find rather “interesting” things that I am not sure a lot of people see.

Last summer we were in Bamberg, Germany. And they have a great cathedral (like most of the cities did). As I walked around inside I took time to look at the details in the craftsmanship.

There is great wood work, great design work… and great stone carving.

That is where I found this little guy; I call him “the bored angel”.

It must have been interesting to be a stone carver along time ago. You are making interesting and important things. You are revered as a master craftsman. You have a steady job building big buildings… but you start seeing the same thing over and over again.

So you bust out every now and again and do something different.

I am not sure that is what he was doing with this piece… but I found it interesting and wanted to give credit to the unknown craftsman who made it.  and did you notice that this is probably the oldest looking cherub you have ever seen?  Or that he is leaning on a Skull!

I am not sure how many people see and appreciate this little fat cherub. (or old man?)

Anyway, I noticed, and I want to thank that medieval stone carver for his work. He didn’t have to make it that interesting…

but he did.

And for that I say thank you.

Just remember, there is “Art All Around Us”. We just have to look up and notice it.

As always, keep sending those photos of the “art” you find. I love seeing them.