Working in metal is just plain cool.

By January 13, 2019 No Comments

I found my metal tools! Discovering the box of tools was like discovering buried treasure, soooooo exciting! I immediately switched gears from working in recycled paper on canvas to working in metal-just like that. Let me tell you working in metal is just plain cool.

It was about eight years that the box of tools languished in storage, forgotten. Bits of copper and brass as well as all kinds of wire, my micro torch, anvil, tools, all ready to go. Sculpture in a box, just open and get to work. All the materials were there, full of possibility. I started with the basics, making a wire armature shape that would then become the interior structure. Eager to move the piece forward quickly, I would carry the armature and my five pound spools of wire back and forth from studio to home so I could do some work in front of the tv because it didn’t require heat. The below images show the development. In the first image at left, you can see the wire form (which makes AMAZING SHADOWS by the way,) held together in shape, with small dollops of silver solder.

The progression of assembly. The gradual layering of material onto the armature.

When I had been actively working in metal back in the 90’s, I made a series of mini chair sculptures. My chair obsession that years. I collected all kinds of metal scraps, metal buttons and other odds and ends. I found the recycling and re-purposing of materials made the work more interesting. The viewer would get up close to see what it was made of. This method is similar to my current work in recycled papers, and my personal motto, “No scrap is too small.”  These mixed metal bits were utilized to add dimension and texture modified with the use of heat. Copper and brass work the best and are suitable for silver soldering.

A new surprising discovery came from adding the wings. I like to juxtapose disparate materials together and here I made the wings out of silk. The silk was a nice contrast to the hardness and the rough texture of the metal. I found while experimenting with the silk, that the best results for “feathers” happened when the silk was painted, cut, and then singed. The singeing made the cut edges shrink and curl a bit, giving the “feathers” a very realistic look. It worked perfectly, a happy result from playing with the materials.

Painted, cut & singed “feathers.”

The final piece titled, “(unrequited) Dove.” I am so pleased at how it turned out. The feathers, once added, really helped to finish the work, and provided a nice contrast in materials. It was shown and sold at MarinMOCA’s “Small Treasures” show to a private collector.

All in all, my first venture back into metal sculpture was an exciting change to what I had been doing previously. I love how adding heat affects the color and texture of the metals. Already, I have the armatures ready for several additional pieces waiting in the wings, ready to go. I will be mixing in more sculpture work between working on my canvases in order to keep things exciting and fresh. I cannot wait to do more. Stay tuned!

(unrequited) Dove, 2017



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