A Record of Activity is Frozen in Metal
I enjoy the process of working directly in metals. Suited up in the safety clothing; welding hoods and face masks takes me to a sacred place where time stops and I stand face to face with a molten metal. Then we begin a dance of wills as I attempt to breathe life into it's form.
Painting with Metal
Crossing several disciplines to add form, texture and color to a piece, I begin by quickly freeing shapes with a plasma cutter. Forging a piece of steel to add dimensions and limits to space. I enjoy the process of blacksmithing, it can be a real and modern way to get shapes formed quickly with interesting texture. There is no nostalgia in it for me.
I tack shapes together adding to the form and provide background texture with the Mig welder. The Mig or wire welder allows me to weld with one hand while I am fabricating a piece. I can lay down a lot of material relatively quickly.
From the mild steel background I can add patches of color by overlaying stainless steel or copper and it's alloys. This is where the painting begins. With the "painting with metals" technique I work with the colors of the metals while I am fabricating the piece. This is not a process where one sand blasts a piece then patinas it. I make decisions on much of the color and texture, by the metal that I use, while I am building the piece. For example, hammered copper carries a great texture and allows for a wide range of color.
More texture and color is added with the Tig torch. the Tig allows me to pool together or accent a piece with stainless steel, mild steel, and most often silicon bronze. Bronze is a vary practical way to weld together many different metals and create a smooth transition in color. Often times it is the Tig and silicon bronze that really brings the piece together.
The Oxygen Accelene torch is used to braze copper together, add brass to a piece or manipulate small areas. It provides for a controlled heat.
This is what I call painting with metal. It has become a dance. I am moving around the room changing safety equipment and tools, recording the movement in metal as I breath life into my work.