It’s a Heat

 

 

It started with admiring outdoor art. Actually, it probably started in 1983 when I first saw “Flashdance,” but that’s digging too deep. Anyhoo, I wanted some outdoor art. Indoor art abounds at the new pad, but the outside is a little lonely. I looked to a painting and found inspiration…

 

 

So I signed up for a sculpture class at a welding shop. I had built myself a maquette made of cardboard and thought it might be possible to finish the piece during the 6-week class. I hoped so at least.

 

 

I got to work and, well, then the US election happened. It was all I could do to make myself go to class. When I got there, the other students were quiet. Maybe we were all heartbroken. I don’t know. Each of us worked on our own projects…

 

 

And we plugged away…

 

 

Once I had cut the pieces for my planned sculpture, I needed to grind them down to remove the ugly coating on the metal. Did I have to? No. I could have simply left the pieces alone and allowed them to rust once outdoors. But I had different plans. And so the grinding work began. Grinding, to me, is a bit tense. As a safety precaution, one has to constantly apply pressure to the on button of a grinder, which wears out whichever hand one uses. And then there’s the body position. I found that holding myself at a slight bent-over angle for so long led to back pain. Not cool, man. And then, as if my body’s tension wasn’t enough, one night I noticed an odd scent in the grinding room. I looked down and saw my hoodie had flamed up from the sparks being thrown by the grinder. I immediately patted out the flare-up, then looked around to see if anyone had noticed. None had, so I went back to finishing the job. Or as much as I could.

 

 

By the end of the session, I had the structure of my piece down…

 

 

But I wasn’t finished. And I knew it. I brought the metal home, hid it away and started my research into metal dyes. That’s right. I wanted my piece to have color. (I figured it would rust, too, but the color would only add to that natural process. Right?) Thanks to the YouTuber, I was able to find a product that looked like it would do the trick. I ordered what I needed and waited. Once the dyes arrived, I knew I had to finish grinding the metal. It occurred to me that I could return to the welding shop and pay them for some open shop time, but when I saw how cheaply a grinder could be had, I decided to just get the tool and finish the task at home. For the record, when the grinder arrived, I considered making its case my new handbag. Yes – I like it that much…

 

 

So. Even though I wasn’t using a 30,000 degree F plasma cutter, I knew enough about grinder sparks to be careful. So I cleaned the outdoor area of leaves and such and got out a fire extinguisher before setting up my work station. I wore all the requisite protective clothing and earplugs and a face mask. I certainly didn’t want to burn down the house, and I surely didn’t want to burn down a Mikki.

 

 

Finishing the job took the better part of a day. But then I was ready to apply the dye. I let it set and then Mister helped me assemble the piece.

 

 

I have to tell you – this was fun. Yes, there were setbacks and disappointments. Yes, I nearly gave myself a belly scar from a spark fire. Yes, it took longer than I expected or hoped. But in the end, I’m fairly smitten with this sculpture. It’s my first. You never forget your first…

 

Weld, Weld, Weld

 

 

Remember when I shared this photo? It’s a cowbell I made in a welding class. I bring it up now because I’ve started a new welding class: Oxy Acetylene Sculpture.

 

Can I please take a moment to extol the virtues of learning? The other day, well, I was depressed. From the moment I woke until I walked into that new sculpting class. My soul and my mind were heavy. When I arrived at class, I told myself to try and be present and pay attention. Honestly – that felt like the most I might be able to do, given my state of blue. So I paid attention. And I tried to process the information being given. By the end of class, I realized that the act of learning had taken me outside my sadness and had freed me – if only for a while – from my depression. Yet another reason for me to seek new knowledge!

 

Anyhoo – we’ll see how this class goes and if anything fruitful comes of it. I’m hopeful. And excited, if you must know. Creating is something I was born to do. When I forget that, or stray too far from that purpose, I become disconnected from myself. Those are hard times. Let’s hope this class helps me be in touch with me.

 

As a treat, here’s a link to oxy acetylene artist Cal Lane’s website. If this chick’s works don’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. She’s amazing!

D-Squared T-Squared – Week 25

 

 

This week’s “project” ended up being an outing. Mister and I wrangled an invite to a gallery opening.

 

 

We are familiar with the work of Edward Walton Wilcox. We also know the artist (and his family). This dude is usually much darker, and that’s what we’ve come to know and love. So imagine our surprise when we beheld this exhibit’s pieces. They’re so full of light! It’s all clearly Wilcox’s work, mind you, so we didn’t feel any great disconnect. Our minds were just blown – in a good way.

 

 

 

In a smaller space, another artist’s work was being shown. We’d seen Todd Carpenter’s paintings before and the guy just kills us. He somehow manages to paint pieces that look like black and white photos. And the gallery owner told us he never uses brushes. He only uses palette knives and – no joke – credit cards. How he gets such detail out of those tools is beyond me.

 

 

Anyhoo, back to Edward Walton Wilcox. He is an amazing sculptor, as well as a talented painter. He did this little guy a few years ago. It’s about 18 inches tall…

 

 

It was interpreted by John Daniels. Daniels is a master chainsaw sculptor and he did this behemoth 9-foot version of Wilcox’s original…

 

 

Pretty cool, eh? We thought so, too.

 

By the end of the night, we had meet-ed and greeted loads of Hollywood art appreciators. We super-enjoyed the show and the various works of the artists. While this wasn’t a week of creating for us, we did our part to participate in a celebration of creativity. Some might say that doesn’t qualify as a D2T2 project. But it’s our call to make, and we’re saying it’s good. So there.

Donkey Comes With Herder

 

 

More often than I’d prefer, I am a donkey. (More like a donkey’s butt.) As I work to evolve, I look for signs and guides. It never occurred to me that what I might actually need is a herder.

 

If only all of life were this simple…