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;


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.

“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.

“Art All Around Us” Window Shutter Holders

If you keep your eyes open you will see little pieces of art, art that wasere made just because it would be fun to do, and beautiful to see. Many things do not need to be ornamental, but dedication to the craft made it that way.

Here is an example; Shutter holders.


ok, almost all,

of the house we saw in Germany had shutters and therefore had shutter retainers. They are simple little devices to hold the shutters open.

They didn’t need to be made interesting, but they were.

We saw several styles, all based on a head design. they were cast metal and mounted with a cam type base so they would lock the piece upright when needed.

So I celebrate the shutter retainer makers of Germany for their idea of making these little gadgets interesting and fun.

If you see anything like these little pieces of art, I would love to have you share them with me.

Share your thoughts and finds with the form below,

Or email them to me at