Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wall Art

The heart artwork is 23 inches high by 17 inches wide.  The heart was made using 18 gauge sheet metal so I could bend it by hand.  The star artwork is 21 inches wide by 16 inches high.  The star,  round spheres, and  forged items were purchased from Kings Architectural Metals.

Air Duct Grille

I decided to customize a couple of air duct grilles in my house.  To provide the support for the artwork, I welded a steel frame using 1/8” thick by 3” wide steel plates.  The steel frame would be attached to the wood framing behind the air duct  sheet metal.

Tonka Truck

I use one of my Tonka Trucks that I had when I was growing up.  I left the Tonka Truck in its original state and added the rider in the back.  The truck is attached to the vertical support by a small steel frame which I attached to the bottom of the Tonka Truck.  The kinetic sculpture is 55 inches high.

House Number

The house number is 35 inches long.  The aluminum numbers are ½” thick and 5” high.  I order the aluminum letters with weld tabs.  Welding the number to the 18 gauge sheet metal made it difficult to paint.  Because of the lack of paint behind the aluminum numbers, there will eventually be rust stains below the numbers.  The next time I will try to attach the numbers by drilling and tapping.  The house number is supported at both the head and at the end of the 18 gauge pendant.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bird with Rider

I original made the sculpture for attaching to the wall.  I like the way it turned out so I decided to make a kinetic sculpture using the same theme.  The bird has a wing span of 20 inches and the kinetic sculpture is 53 inches high.  The body is a steel pipe which I tapered down for the tail and head.  Most of the items I welded except for the eyes which I brazed.  I did try to weld the eyes on, but I did not like the way it looked.

Horse and Rider

The horse and rider sculpture is 21 inches high.  The head is an 8 inch steel sphere with 2 inch brass spheres for the eyes.  The brass eyes are attached using threaded rods which were drilled and tapped into the steel sphere.  To prevent the threaded rod from spinning, I solder them to the head.  After I welded the face and glasses on, it was obvious the eyes did not line up correctly.  I ended up having to relocate one of the threaded rods.  The nice thing about working with steel you can correct your mistakes.


The lamp is 29 inches high and is made entirely out of steel.  To aid in the finishing of the lamp I attached the little guy using threaded rod.  The Little guy was hand painted using One Shot paint.  The lightning bolt and base are steel plates that were ground using a 24 grit grinding wheel.  The base was air brushed using a transparent green paint.  Afterward both were coated using DuPont ChromaClear Snap Dry Clearcoat.  It has a flash time of 3 to 5 minute between recoats which is great since you need to apply several coats to smooth out the rough surface from the 24 grit grinding wheel.  The final product is as smooth as a new car finish.  The DuPont ChromaClear is expensive, but it is the only product that I found that can give you the smooth high glossy appearance like a new car finish.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fused Glass Kinetic Sculpture

The kinetic sculpture is 23 inches high.  The cat and dog are fused glass and the support is painted welded steel.  I enjoy trying to combine fused glass with other art mediums.  When I start, I am never sure how it will turn out.  But that is the fun of trying new things.  Sometimes you end up with a dud; other times you think wow!

The kiln is ready for the first firing.  It melts the two layers of glass into one solid piece.

The eyes and facial features are added to the fused glass which is ready for the second firing.
A close up of the dog which is ready for the second firing.
I duck taped the fused glass to the kinetic sculpture so I can take it for a test drive.  If I need to make any changes, this is my last chance.  My initial reaction was that it swinging motion was too fast.  My other kinetic sculptures, the motion is considerably slower.  So I decided to try to slow the swinging motion down.
My first attempt was to increase the weight and length of the pendulum.  I duck taped a hammer to the end of the pendulum.  The motion was still too fast.
My second attempt was to significantly increase the length of the pendulum.  I duck taped a pipe to the pendulum.  It did not seem to make much difference.  So I decide to stay with the original design. 

Paper Towel Holder

I enjoy trying to combine fused glass with other mediums.  The paper towel holder is a combination of welded steel and fused glass.

The fused glass required two separate firing.  The first firing was a full fuse for the cat’s head and eyes.  The second firing was a partial fuse to fused the cat’s facial features to the cat’s head.  Using two firing gives the cat a two dimension look.  It requires more work, but it is worth the extra effort.

 To ensure the cat’s feet are level, I tacked welded the feet to a steel plate.  After the cat is welded, the support plate is removed by grinding the tack welds.  I was trying to prevent the cat from wobbling on three legs and it worked.
 To support the fused glass, I welded a steel plate that was cut slightly smaller than the fused glass.  I attached the fused glass to the steel plate using silicone.