Thursday, October 20, 2011

Steel Frames

There is no sawdust in my shop, none is allowed.  It is a pretty nice studio/shop/office built over 20 years ago at the far end of my back yard.  I am surrounded by my garden, the little splash pool and about a million flowers.  My shop was originally built as a wood shop, a long time ago when I had planners and shapers and sanders and saws.  I once imported 10,000 board feet of exotic lumber from the Fiji Islands and had lumber and projects all over the place.  Those were inventing days also and I created lots of different stuff from this lumber.
   When I found my interests in steel my tools changed, my shop changed and the sawdust just had to go.  It is just way too much of a fire hazard with the sparks flying around all over the place.
   Now I am into painting but as long as I keep the turpentine outside it is pretty compatible with my metal art and doesn't require much space.  Artists always have to be doing something, some kind of art and painting is a lot less expensive than working with metal.  If it weren't paint it would be beads or clay or cooking.  Some kind of art, something to do.
   I am always after something different.  When I am lucky enough to make a descent painting it is wanting to be in a frame.  In the old days when I had those tools this would be easy in oak or Cherry or walnut or maybe even in my Fijian woods but now all I have is steel.  Light gauge steel tubing is not heavy.  A one inch by one inch piece weighs less than the same in oak but it won't warp or once made into a frame fall apart.
Besides, it is what I've got.
   Once again I find myself experimenting.  What would happen if I did this? or that? and then I do it just to see.  Some of my ideas are not practical at least to market them.  Maybe cool ideas but far too time consuming and the cost of production would be prohibitive.  That never stops me from making the prototype though.  I have to see what one would look like.  Some of these inventions end up in my scrape pile where they age and refine to be cut up later and used in some other idea and other's, the better ones get hung on a wall in my shop where they become inspiration for other projects.  Many times I have taken one of these, way too expensive to make again and made them the center piece to a larger project.
   Some become Christmas presents.  Or just a nice day, the sun is out and I would rather give them away than sell them for less than they are worth.  I never determine value from my prototypes.  They are one of a kind and far too time consuming.  Value to me is what would I charge to make another one?
   One of the values I get from this experience is I learn new skills, new ideas, different uses from things.  Maybe a different way to see the same stuff I see day after day.  That is worth a lot to me and it is the reason I do this.  Of course I make mistakes!  I have a pretty big scrap pile.

 about 14" x 28"
     I am working on steel frames for the better of my canvas paintings.  From nowhere in particular I get this idea, why can't they be three dimensional?  Yesterday I made a frame and splattered weld blobs all over it for some texture and then added two butterflies to the front side.  There will be a canvas to be painted behind these butterflies.  It is not a marketable kind of thing but it is pretty cool.

I seem to have lost my ability to control these photos so I will stop this here!

More of what I do is HERE


freebird said...

I think it will look really nice with one of your abstracts behind it.

Tiffiny said...

Wow, I really like that frame. It's really beautiful. Nice.

Clipped Wings said...

This is great. Love the splatter effect. Might be very marketable with one of your abstracts in the frame. Just a thought. You're so blessed with a creativity that is never ending.

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

I love butterflies :-)

Dan Kent said...

Beautiful. I think it'd be totally> marketable if there were a mirror behind it!

conservativelybohemian said...

I gotta tell you, Jer, that this frame is just so amazing. I see it as a perfect frame for a painting like the last one you showed. Truly an amazing work of art!!

Barbra Joan said...

I like Dans idea of a mirror behind it ... jerry your mind is a whirlwind of ideas...