Abstract Elephant

One of the assignments in our welding class was to create an organic, sealed shape. It could be any shape, just as long as it could be sealed closed and not be a collection of right angles – like a square or rectangle. Everyone in the class ended up with interesting, organic objects, from swirled tubes to rounded bent polygons. My particular piece ended up being a glorified modified triangle – three sides and coming to a point on one end.

Even though I liked how it looked thus far, I was totally a loss about what to actually do with the piece to consider it finished. To that end, I created another, smaller companion shape that I spent a week trying to figure out how to pair with the first. End to end, stacked vertically, wide end-to-end with a twist…it all proved to be little help, because I still couldn’t visualize what the end goal was. Then, finally, laying the pieces on their side and looking at it from a different angle it dawned on me what it was:


The pieces of an abstract elephant had literally been staring me in the face for a week and I just couldn’t see it. I created a third triangle the same size as the smaller one, as closely as I could to a mirror image:


After the second ear was created, it was just a matter of putting all the elements together. I added a curved bar for the tusks, which wraps around behind the trunk and a hook to hang it with, and boom…a modern art elephant, suitable for a wall:

I’m really happy with the way this turned out, considering I don’t ever feel like I “get” modern art. I can appreciate it, certainly, but when it comes to creating it I find I’m always too literal in my thought process.