Going Steampunk…kind of

Going Steampunk…kind of

The whole Steampunk movement that’s going on right now isn’t really my thing, other than having an appreciation for how creative some people are when designing their devices or costumes. Personally, I like my technology streamlined and clean, but whatever floats your boat, I suppose. That said, I wandered through a salvage yard today, looking for gears, sprockets, chains, etc, anything that could convey the idea of Steampunk. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, but after soaking the pieces in Simple Green, then giving them a good scrubbing to get the rest of the grease off, I think I have a few workable pieces that I can begin to tinker around with. Also on Relatively Average: Building a better dog barricade Brought to you by the letters L, j, e, b, and d Disc golf practice...
Jurassic Park Lite

Jurassic Park Lite

After completing my Stegosaurus sculpture, I decided that I wanted to try another dinosaur sculpture…kind of a companion piece. I knew I wanted this one to be much, much larger, and give me the opportunity to have some more fun with the construction and the treatment of the metal. I figured a Brachiosaurus would be large enough. Because I was under a time crunch, I purchased the piece of rebar that would become the spine from a pretty limited selection of rebar at the Home Depot. The shop where I usually get my meta for my projects, Industrial Metal Supply, has more options and better prices, but are clear across town and I didn’t have time to make the trip before my the lab, so I ended up with 10 feet of half-inch rebar strapped to the top of the car. The problem, I discovered with half-inch rebar, is that it’s too thick to shape using the bender we had in the lab. I could either get slight bends or really drastic folds in the bar, but nothing like the sloping curves I was looking for. I decided to try heating it with a torch and bending that way. While it did technically work, I was really unhappy with he result, and in the end, had to change the sculpture into a smaller dinosaur, simply because I couldn’t get the bends in the rebar right to give me the correct proportions I was looking for. While the finished project is a fine Apatosaur, it’s not the monster I wanted to end up with, so I may work up another...
State of Arizona Wall Art

State of Arizona Wall Art

Outside of the normal project list from my welding class, I decided that I wanted to try doing an electrical piece. Having previously come up with an illustration that I thought would look great on a coffee shop wall, I wanted to incorporate it into a welding project somehow. After creating a box by folding the edges of a rectangle in and welding the corners, I cut the Arizona state outline out with a plasma cutter, then finished by removing the star over Phoenix. Distressing the sheet metal with multiple applications of a mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and vinegar seemed like the best way to achieve the deep rust I was looking for without needing to purchase any kind of acid or harsh chemicals. After getting the surface as textured as I wanted it, I epoxied a Dioder LED light set onto the back of the steel so it would reflect off the polished copper sheet that was bolted on last. In low light, the LEDs shine brightly, highlighting the copper.   The piece is currently hanging in my office. If I had gotten my ducks in a row before the Practical Art Summer Group Show deadline, I would have submitted it to the competition…I think it could have been pretty well received. I guess there’s always next year. Also on Relatively Average: Brought to you by the letters L, j, e, b, and d Disc golf practice basket Learning to love creating IRL –...
Stegosaurus, Part 2

Stegosaurus, Part 2

Completed the work on my Stegosaurus sculpture, so I brought it home. If we didn’t have a house full of dogs I would leave it in the back yard. Also on Relatively Average: Creating a Stegosaurus Disc golf practice basket Learning to love creating IRL –...
Creating a Stegosaurus

Creating a Stegosaurus

Even though my first project (the Iris) isn’t done yet, I couldn’t wait to get started on my next project: a Stegosaurus skeleton. Tonight I bent the half-inch rebar that will be the spine, and got the rough elements together for his legs: The bony plates along his back will be done in three-eighth inch stainless steel, so as the rest of the skeleton ages and gets that cool patina effect, the plates will remain shiny and bright. I’ve got the plates drawn out onto my stainless steel sheet, so next class all I have to do is cut them on the plasma cutter and then grind them down. See the next step Also on Relatively Average: Brought to you by the letters L, j, e, b, and d State of Arizona Wall Art Learning to love creating IRL –...
Learning to love creating IRL – again

Learning to love creating IRL – again

At the end of January, after a particular trying run at work when files and work weren’t being backed up before being accidentally deleted, I decided that I needed to create something that couldn’t be erased with the click of a button. Unless clicking that button resulted in an explosion or fire storm. At the very least, how about an alarm or a chime? I used to, and still do, love to draw, but being accustomed to the speed at which digital images can be created I found drawing to be tedious. Even though I enjoy it, unless you’re one of those bimanual folks who can control both hands independently at the same time, at any one point most people can only create in the finite breadth and depth of their chosen medium; that is to say if you’re using a pencil to create a picture, the area you’re working with at any one time is the width of the pencil lead. A graffiti artist painting a mural usually uses spray paint because it affords larger coverage (and usually the speed required by the illicit nature of the medium), as opposed to a paint brush even though it would give them more control over the application. I guess that’s the long way of saying that I wanted to see faster results. Anyway, a few years ago my neighbor took a sculptural welding class and loved it. Knowing I was artistically inclined, she had been trying to convince me to take the class ever since. Always having the excuse of not enough time, I never took her up on it. Fast...