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.

That Is An Office?

You know, I once heard a wise man say “an office is what you make of it”. (OK, I have never heard that said until I just thought it up. But it is true.)

Some people need to have an office in the corner of the building with lots of windows and fancy chairs.

You know why?

That is probably because the work they’re doing is not interesting to the eye …. And therefore the soul.

Well my goal is to make things interesting to see. And therefore I love working in the studio and having it be my “office”.

There is just one problem….it is a dirty environment. I cannot keep a piece of white paper anywhere in the studio without it getting dirty. And it just doesn’t say professional if there are burn marks on my letterhead.

 

So I needed an “office” I could work from, while in the studio.

And I finally figured it out.

It started with these two tool boxes I saw at a friend’s salvage lot.

 

They were tool boxes for the back of a work truck, and were made to sit horizontally on the bed of that truck.

 

But he had them standing up on the end and I thought they were perfect for an office. (That was a stretch… but I do have an active imagination)

 

I selected the smaller one (reason unknown) and made the purchase. When it was back at the studio I started working on the shelves and repairing the dents. The doors would open to the side and there would be hooks and attachments for all the things needed in an office.

I added adjustable shelving holders on the inside and installed a light. A power cord was fitted into the bottom so I could run my chargers and plug in the light. A rack was added to hold my radio (in the future) while coat and apron holders were welded to the back. I toped it all off with clip board holders, a paper towel rack a trach can, and mounted it on wheels.

I had the whole thing sandblasted to clean it up and then had it powder coated a modern silver color. (kinda gives it a robot look)

But what makes it work is the weather stripping I added to the door so all that dust I talked about would not be able to get inside.

And it works great!

I now have a great place to store my paperwork and keep things clean in general.

If you have ever had a problem finding just the right spot for an office, do like me. Add wheels to the bottom of a toolbox and move it to wherever you need it.

 

I would love to see how you have solved the situation of a dirty shop and a clean office. Send me your comments or solutions to;

 

Steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

 

Or use the form below;

Before and After; A Chair’s Journey

A photo journey from broken antique to whimsical child’s chair.

I have been making a chair to donate to the Council for the Arts here in Jacksonville. They have an event called Art Block; where they take over the whole block in front of their gallery and put on a street festival.

The “Chairity Auction” is a collection of repainted / decorated/ repurposed chairs which are auctioned at the event.

Well, here is how mine developed;

>>>in photos>>>

The chair in it’s original condition;

 

Each piece was broken apart, resized to child size and glued back together;

More gluing;

The back was cut from a beautiful piece of plywood… until I noticed that I forgot to leave the part to attach it to the chair. So I used an old piece of plywood I had in the studio… not a perfect, but it can be sanded to look great (just extra work).

The leaves were cut and added;

The seat shows the differences in sizes between an adult and child’s chair;

Here are all the “Leftover parts”;

The paint starts bringing it all together;

Plywood backing for the cushions were cut and sanded;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the foam was added;

The upholstery was staples on;

The final pieces were added and it was ready to go;

 

You can see it, and bid on it, at Art Block.

Downtown Jacksonville, NC.   Sat 4-29