MARCH 2012: Cyclops Dog

The dog was created in much the same way as my self portrait (further down this page). I found a piece in the scrap bin at my welding class that looked to me like the muzzle of a dog and then another that would work for its body! I went to work and 2 hours later we had a dog! (I think that was the night that our “advanced” welding teacher gave up on the idea of hoping we might conform). I decide it would be a gift for my sister who goes to Harvard. You have to be VERY focused to make it there. So the Cyclops mindset is helpful.  If you enlarge the picture you can see the “H” on his collar.

March 2012: Scrap Owl

When I was asked to make a piece to donate to the Make-A-Wish fundraiser, I suffered from some “welders-block” (like “writer’s block,” but hotter), because I am accustomed to having at least a thread of a theme to start with for most of my pieces.   When nothing came to me, I stared at the shop floor in deep thought, and my eyes fell on a hexagon shaped scrap that reminded me of the shape of an owl’s face. The floor of our metal shop was littered with bits and pieces of left-over metal from several other projects and I picked it up to study for a moment… and then I was off and running! I kept picking up pieces off the floor and sticking them together, and before I knew it, the owl wisely took shape! (We always keep left-over scraps from every project, for just this kind of occasion).

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APRIL 2012: Self Portrait

My mother and I took an advanced welding course at the local high school with a number of fellows who would be using their welding skill as their life’s work. We were simply taking the course to expand the kind of metal that we might use in our sculptures. Each night of the course, mom and I would start by rummaging through the metal waste bucket from the Vo-Tech students’ classes.  Our goal was to dig out a few odd-shaped bits of scrap and then turn it into something novel. We called it a “design challenge.” I made this piece during my welding class one night. The piece started with those 6 -8 vertical stock pieces that the students had welded together in class.  I added all the hair and facial features modeled after my own appearance! This type of sculpture is like a cross between a venerated bronze bust, and a funny, hand-drawn caricature.

OCTOBER 2012:   Mother Owl and Babies

This sculpture was for sale ($2,430) at a local art gallery. It is another good example of my passion for artwork that is both “Novel AND Useful”. The sculpture is a wine bucket and hors d’oeuvre platter holder. It would we a real conversation piece at parties on a deck, dock or patio . This piece is one of the few that people have watched me make: My grandmother had come to visit us from my parent’s home town of Lincoln, Illinois.  She couldn’t believe that I did this work by myself. She sat in the lawn chair remarking repeatedly, “Be Careful!”... “Oh my! That’s on fire!.,.. “Ooo! Well that’s just too dangerous for a little girl like you!” … The idea for the sculpture came to me when I was dumpster diving in the metal bins at the local ceramics company (long story) and found a whole barrel full of metal shavings from a lathe. To me the “fluff” looked like it could be put to perfect use in making a bunch of baby birds, specifically owlets. And Poof! The idea was born.

October 6th 2012: Owlet Wine and Hors d’oeuvre Server

This sculpture is the little sister to the larger “Mother and Babies Wine and Hors d’oeuvre Server.” After my family fell in love with the larger version, we realized that we could never give it away… so at around 9:30 am, the morning of the event that I had committed to donate a sculpture to (St. Albans Wine and Food Festival),  I created this beautiful sculpture. I cheated a little when I made this because I had found the base in a junk sale and recycled it by just adding the leaves. The little owls I created by making little cut outs with my plasma cutter and bending them to be round and stuffing them with metal shavings from a lathe. This was the sculpture that was auctioned off at the festival for about $300, and everyone loved it!

2012 DECEMBER:  Partridge in a Pear Tree - and Squirrel

This sculpture won the “People’s Choice” award at a big festival to celebrate the holidays, and it fetched $1,550.00 during an auction to benefit The United Way. I called this piece “Partridge in a Pear Tree – and Squirrel”  and I donated it to the festival in our town where people donate decorated Christmas trees and then at a dinner/dance event, they auction off the various trees. My tree had a cute partridge on tip toe, hovering joyfully on the top of the tree. There were cut-outs of pears, and in the middle of the tree (not well seen in this photo) was a big squirrel eating an acorn.  Most of the donated trees are artificial Christmas Trees traditionally decorated with a theme. My tree was unusual, to say the least, and it was a big hit. The couple who won it in the bidding, put the tree just outside their kitchen bay window, near their bird feeder, and now the birds have somewhere to sit and eat the seeds from the feeder, and the family can enjoy watching them!