I create paintings, sculptures, and functional art such as gates, benches and tables using carbon and stainless steel.
The steel paintings are hand drawn with soapstone, hand cut with a plasma torch, acid washed and hand painted. A tube or flat steel frame is then added. I like the effect created by the torch cutting as the outlines of the subjects are visible if backlit. I often use an acetylene torch to create the blues of the sky or the beauty of a butterfly's wings. Heating mild steel to 500 degrees F creates a blue that cannot be matched by staining or paint. Living in the South is a challenge as everything, (me included, it seems), rusts. To prevent this I add many coats of clear laquer or powder coat. The majority of my work is now made with stainless steel to prevent rust as well.
Because everything is hand drawn there are no two works that are the same. These pieces are not made with a computer run machine. Each is unique.
Growing up in California I was always attracted by horses and all things Western. I wanted to be a cowboy and train horses, which led me to pursue a B.S. in Animal Science. While there I took the horseshoeing and welding classes and haven't stopped working with metal since. Maybe it's in my blood. I never met my mothers father but she always said I was a lot like him. During WWI he held the rank of Horseshoer First Class.
Hot rolled, mild carbon steel is my primary material but I have used stainless steel, copper, bronze, aluminum and others to get the effects I'm trying to create. I love the different hues I can make by heating with a torch and I use various stains, paints and even Gilders Paste.
I enjoy hiking and many of my pieces are directly influenced by the scenery and wildlife I've seen. The wildflowers of the Mohave Desert and the eastern and western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains have captivated my imagination, though it has been a long time since I wandered there in my youth.
Here is the process I use to create wall hangings.