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.

1

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.

2

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.

Miche'sl plate 2

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

shirt front s

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

stone 1a

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

You just gota look!

 

But for today, I have done it for you…

shirt front s

 

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.

DSC_0110a ss

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”.

DSC_0131a s

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.

DSC_0106a s

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.

breaking free s

 

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”

DSC_0119 a s

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

shirt front s

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.

DSCN1055

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

 

shirt front s

“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…

2a s

And here is a photo just to show the size.

4

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.

shirt front s

Art Nouveau

I recently was asked to create a set of window decorations for a downtown historic home.  The brick row house had been built at the turn of the century and was being been brought back to life with renovation, modernization, and the sounds of laughter and love.#1

I was asked to work with the owners and design a set of window grills which would be historically correct and complement the existing architecture.  We started by identifying a style which was period correct complimenting to the building.  Then the fun part kicked in, creating the design details that would be beautiful, functional, and something I could create from hundreds of miles away.

The turn of the century Art Nouveau style with its sensual curves and arches was just the thing and an overall design concept was drawn.  Each window would have a slight variation of the design to match its size and location.

Even though building the units was a lot of work, it was exciting to see them come to life as the weeks went by.  Our paper designs transferred into steel beautifully, and the aged bronze finish was perfect for the site.

#2The design was altered again to create a set of doors for the front of the house.  The tall open space allowed for an elegant door with 8 foot panels. The metal complimented the existing carved wooden doors, without distracting from their beauty.

As anyone who has done work on a historic home knows, instillation is always a challenge.  But I had world class assistance and the pieces went in beautifully.  The fun part was having discussions with the neighbors as they came by to check out the work.

It was a blessing to be able to collaborate on such an interesting and challenging piece.  I hope the work is there to compliment the home for another 100 years

And as always, I love hearing your thoughts and comments.

You can use the form below

or email me a steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

 

shirt front s

 

 

 

Before and After

I had made a set of handrails for a home in Washington NC. I was doing the finishing of the metal, when someone came in the studio and was astounded by the transformation of the metal.  The rails had been made from steel and design was to represent dogwood branches.

Well, as you probably know, steel is not the color of dogwood branches, so something had to change.  The change was interesting and I thought you might like a photo of before and after for comparison.  So here it is.

before after 2

The leaves and flowers were cut textured and added to the branches, followed by the flowers.  The design was interesting and creating the pieces was a lot of fun.  But changing them from plane steel to something I would want in my home. (which is my standard) is always the fun part.

Some projects need to be a given color, such as bronze or traditional black.   This set of rails needed a certain finish that compliments the design.  It was decided they would be converted to look like aged brass and be finished to stand up to living on a waterfront lot.

I colored the metal with a patina which imparts a brown tone to the metal and then convert that… through metal magic… into a copper highlighted finish. (any of you that have read my blog before know that it involves heating the metal and scrubbing it with a brass brush.  The brass transfers into the metal and causes the color. So sorry, no magic.)

Well anyway…

It rails are on a home built in 1909 and lovingly restored by its current owners.

It was a delight to see this “tired southern lady” being brought back to her original beauty by a “classy southern lady”….and her husband.  I was thankful that they allowed me be a small part of the process.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Use the form below, or email me at   steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

 

shirt front s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 505 other followers