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.

heart 4a

heart 3a

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.

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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…

 

 

 

Walking Into Art! Fun Times!

I was able to visit a fascinating art installation yesterday and wanted to share it with you.

Now, I have to confess, I am not a big fan of art “instillations”. It seems to me that a lot of the time they are things like a pile of sand in a room…(yes that is all) or a stack of shipping pallets on the floor.

But this one was different!

balls 2

 

Kioro Kawai and Aaron Sherwood had created a series of hanging spheres which hung from cords. They were wired for sound and light. It was an instillation at Burning Man, so I knew it is going to be a little “out there”. And it was! As the viewer/ interactor walked among them and touched the balls they let up in different colors and played low pitched sounds (kind of like whale talk).

We went in the evening and there were small children slowly walking through the piece touching the ball and activating all the lights and sounds. They were mesmerized….so were we!

balls 1

The piece seems to be traveling around so if you get a chance to see it somewhere, go for it. Its name is Micro. Here is a link to more photos;

http://www.purringt.com/#/micro/

I hope you get a chance to enjoy it.

 

As always, I love to get your comments and observations.

Email me at Steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or use the form below.

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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.

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

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Juniper Rescue

As all of you know I am a metal artist.

Every day I deal with designing and making things from metal…mostly steel.  So what’s up with those stacks of wood drying in my studio?

I think there is just something beautiful about a solid piece of wood.

The wood I have drying in my metal studio is interesting because it was rejected by the sawmill, and therefore, destined for the chipper.

Yes, destined to be chipped up and sent to the bottom of some farmer’s chicken house.

Florida_chicken_houseWhat a horrible life! If I can turn that reject into something beautiful then that makes life better for everyone

…OK maybe not the chickens…

My latest rescue is a piece of juniper that was a problem for the sawmill.  It was not straight, and builders want straight!

That also means sawmill guys want straight.

I was looking for a tree that had a flair on the end of the trunk to use as a design element for a bench.  Mr. Earl (the sawmill guy) told me he had some juniper and it would probably meet my needs.  After a few minutes climbing on the wood pile I found the juniper logs.

The piece I wanted was almost uniform in diameter, but had a curve in it near the bottom.  The curve was a defect and Mr. Earl would not be interested in cutting it for boards.  So out it came.

wood 1

It took me a few minutes to get him to understand that I needed to prop up the thin end so the center of the log was level to the saw.  I wanted it to be cut through the center and then a slab cut on each side.  That would create two book matched pieces.  (as if they were two pages of a book, mirror images of each other)

 

 

The cutting went well and we discovered a large void inside the trunk which caused it to bend.  Not a problem for me.  It is actually an interesting feature that I hope to emphasize when the wood is used.

wood 2

What will it be?  I don’t know yet.

Green wood needs to dry for about 2 years before it can be used for furniture.  There is plenty of time to dream up the design.

So what are you finding that no one else thinks is of value?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and learn about your finds.

Email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

or just use the form below.

 

In the mean time I’ll be on the look out for another log that needs rescuing.

 

 

 

Yes, They Were Chicken Wire Lions!

Last summer we were in the UK for a vacation.

We went to the Tower of London to see all the history.  While we were there, I noticed something on top one of the back walls.

Chicken Wire Lions!!!

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An artist, who’s name I unfortunately do not know, had crafted life size and realistic looking lions from chicken wire.lion s 1

 

Knowing the British people, they probably have a more interesting name for it than chicken wire, but that is what I call it.

 

They were placed without fanfare, and allowed to be discovered on your own.

lion 3s

I think they were fabulous!

 

I’d love to hear what you think.

 

Email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or use the form below:

Quality Art is Smart and Beautiful

I was recently at the Lenior NC sculpture festival. There were about 50 sculptors presenting about 140 sculptures.

The show has been going for 39 years, and they say next year will be even greater.

I had one piece entered in the show. It didn’t win, but it was purchased…and I kinda think that’s a win.

But I love celebrating quality work wherever I see it, and I saw a number of great pieces that weekend.   I also love art which shows ingenuity and craftsmanship…I call it smart and beautiful.

I met artist, Eric Isbanioly, a North Carolina artist, and was fascinated that he had created a coffee table.  It was very well crafted and very interesting.

elemental joe

You may not know without being told, the base of the table is a model of the coffee molecule. (It is a coffee table isn’t it?)

Eric named it “Elemental Joe”. There is even a little chemistry information on the website for those interested.

You can see more if his work at sTableMolecule.com, or email him at ericisbaniolydesigns@gmail.com