Viking Serpent

Recently I was taking apart an old Royal vacuum cleaner that I’d scrounged from the trash and was amused by the face that I saw in one of its castings. As often happens, an interesting shape gets me thinking; in this case the image that came to mind was of a serpent akin to those found on the prow of Viking ships. With a bit of experimentation I came up with some pleasing curves to use for the neck & then bent them from 1/2″ steel rod. Arranging and holding the rods prior to welding was a bit of a challenge, but once welded and cut to fit flush to the head, the real challenge was how to clamp the rods for drilling and tapping. Maybe overkill, but I like the neat appearance of machine screws so I attached the head to the neck with #10-24 SHCS. Once complete, the next step was to mount it to the drill press…a bit of a whimsical mascot! May need to raise it a bit though as it wound up being just about head-banging height. Working on a dorsal fin for him now though…

Mr K

Last summer I acquired a bunch of cast off gas pipe & I have been thinking about ways to use it. One idea that has appeal is to experiment with forging to achieve an organic form. Ideas lead to tools, and in this case making a hardy pipe tool for the anvil so that I could test the forging idea. With the initial results quite promising, I started thinking about creating some frog legs. As ideas are apt to do, this one morphed into something quite different.

After making and working with various parts for a while, I recognized that it was really Kokopelli offering me the inspiration; a frog will be left for another time. The iconic image of Kokopelli is commonly found in the Southwest and is one that has often amused me. The name Mr K came from my wife and I liked it immediately, particularly because that was also the nickname of my high school metal shop teacher, Jim Koutsoures. Borrowing Jim’s nickname for this piece seems appropriate because I really appreciate the experiences I had in his shop classes.

In the process of creating metal sculpture I am attracted to the juxtaposition of organic line and form with the rigid geometric nature of machine parts. My intent here is to create something that suggests an organic form but made from entirely inorganic components. In this case, the legs made from forged pipe form the basis to support a gear scrounged from an old snowblower, the head piece is from an industrial stamping, various bits of rod were then bent to form the neck and arms. While the sculpture is static, I am also seeking to convey a sense of motion; fitting as the Grateful Dead often keep me company while I’m working.

The photos give a sense of the journey and process of creating this metal sculpture.

Carpenters flowers

My wife and I found a couple of boxes of construction nails in a recycling dumpster and this set me thinking about what I might make with them.  Being intrigued with organic lines, I wondered if I couldn’t transform the nails into something else, and this lead to a rather nice flower for my wife as an anniversary gift.  Having enjoyed that project, I bent a bunch of extra flower petals for further experiments.  One idea was to make the centers of the flowers from a ball, so I turned some balls from steel rod, and then drilled a series of holes to receive the petals.  With my magnet-friends assisting, I positioned the petals and then TIG welded them in place.  I’m pleased with the results and looking forward to the stems…