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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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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The Vintage Bench Saga continues…

You might remember I featured a piece of vintage yard furniture awhile back.

It has been on the farm of my Grandmother in law for about 60 years, and was in rough shape.

But it was really something special.

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I set about working on repairing it and getting it ready for another 60 years…in my yard. (no farm here unfortunately)

I looked it over and located the problem spots, rust through damage, and lost parts. Then I started the work of bring it back to life.

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The back’s connection to the seat was in rough shape because it was a place for water to collect and cause rust. I took a wire wheel and was able to make short work of the problem. 10,000 RPMs is a powerful thing! I then welded then gaps closed and wire wheeled it again.

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The handle on the left side arm rest had been worn through in a couple of spots. I can only guess how many butter beans you would have to shuck to get to the point where the metal is worn through… but that bench certainly had seen a lot of shucking, of all kinds of vegetables, in its day.

The thought that it had seen enough use to wear through the metal just makes me want to repair it even more.

I welded all the joints and attachments to make it stronger and then added metal feet to the bottom of the legs. I will attach pieces of treated wood to these feet so that the metal does not touch the ground and start the rusting process all over again.

I took it to my powder coater to get it sandblasted to remove all the old paint and rust. Then they baked on a finish in the color my wife selected.

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I think it will hold a special place in the back yard for a long time to come.

Overall, I think the piece turned out great.

 

Now I will have to put some thought into redoing the matching chair…trust me, it will take a lot more work than this one…

But then… that is the fun of it!!

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Being Led By An Eagle

As you know I love finding art for my ”The Art All Around Us” project.

While we were eating out in the city of New Bern, NC  we came out of the restaurant and walked past the historic skipjack “Ada Mae”.

And right there on the front of the boat (they probably call it a spear of strut or something like that) was a carving of an eagle heading into the wind.

I thought it was great looking even after 101 years on the rivers and sounds of Eastern North Carolina.

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Capt. Ralph Hodges absolutely had no idea this photo would be on the internet all these years after he had it carved. But I am glad he decided to have his work boat made a little nicer by adding that piece of nautical history to the bow.

If I could go back 101 years and thank the Captain for making an interesting piece of history. I would also tell his daughter the boat named after her would, for a hundred years, be putting smiles on the faces of people who appreciate beautiful things.

The Capt. could have skipped this carving and saved the expense. It was just a working boat anyway.

But no,

He decided to make it nice.

And for that I thank him.

 

I would love to see your finds of the “Art All Around Us”

Or hear your comments on the ones I find.

Email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or just use the form below.

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Look Up… You’ll Be Amazed

In my quest for ”The Art All Around Us” I was looking up.

And I found more art.

The craftsmanship you can find if you look up around an old building is amazing.

Those old brick masons and plasterers, back then, must have had a lot of creative ideas. There is some beautiful design work on old buildings that means nothing to the structure… except to beautify their building.

They could have made it plain..

But no! They decided to make it nice!

Just because they thought it would be beautiful.

IMG_2013And for that I say thank you.

most people will never see this craftsmanship… but you now will.

I would love to see your finds of the “Art All Around Us”

Or hear your comments on the ones I find.

Email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com

Or just use the form below.

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Know Your Bridge? Just Check the Art!

In my never ending quest to celebrate find the art that others don’t notice, I had to go to Vermont. I would guess all the states label their bridges in some way, you know, for maintenance and that kind of thing…

They could have just painted a number on it or something…

but they chose art!

They inlaid a cutout of the state to make it unique.

Not fancy… not overt, just right!

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They could have done it in a boring way

But they chose art

And for that I say “way to go”

There is art all around us.  We just need to find it, and say thank you.

As always, I would love to hear your comments and see your “finds”.

You can use the form below;

Or email me at steve@stephenzmetaldesigns.com.

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