Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Light for Art

I have been working on a new series of lighting sconces, the first of which will be made from sheets of scored copper and aluminum. I have to admit, a big reason for this series is to use my new Lincoln Electric, wire-feed mig welder. The other reason is because I have been researching my next backpacking trip out west. One of my mind's eyes sees canyon arroyos and cliffs. The other sees copper and aluminum forms twisting and becoming liquid, pushing light through forced canyons upon a wall to create an ambiance of light that one can feel when the sun is setting, light moving across a copper-toned field of sand, slickrock, and canyon wall. It is also what I envision a furnace creating when a steel worker pours molten slag into a form to create ingots.

Not much else to report. I am currently bidding print jobs for reproducing some of my art on fine art cards, which will be blank on the inside and can be used to write notes. Hopefully, I will sell them on timhunterart to help support the other art I create. Perhaps I'll sell this series of sconces online as well if don't find a local buyer.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Rain and Steel

We've had rain all day. So much that I have had to keep my current project, a steel sheet for the factory to be used as a magnetic bulletin board, in the garage. I ground it yesterday, and applied clearcoat to reduce its chance of rusting, but I am still going to wait for a sunny day to transport it to its new home.

Practical art ... very simple.
One usually thinks of steel holding up trains on long rail systems, or in girders for bridges, or floors in sky scrapers. Not this sheet of metal. When it's in place, this steel will hold papers, upon which great advertising and marketing concepts are born. It will support notes as the traffic manager types them into her computer, and great plans for success. But today, rain keeps the steel from its new home.

The rain, the practical nature of the metal, and the responsibility of the inanimate object remind me of one of my favorite poems by William Carlos Williams. It's the Red Wheelbarrow (C) 1962 (note, each verse is in the shape of a wheelbarrow):

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Doers and Followers

In this world, there exists a sort of person who feels it completely necessary to his or her existence to produce. To make. To create. These are the folk who often become either shining stars, or martyrs in a world of mediocrity. They wake up every day with a need to change the way the world around them is viewed, or felt, or understood. They thrive upon seeing real results from their labors. They DO. They would have it no other way.

Others merely think about it. They plan. They devise. They observe, and are inspired by the doers. They watch the doers make mistakes. They tisk-tisk, and say "that could have been avoided with proper planning. That could have been better calculated and your results could have been 5 percent greater." Then, they sit back in the planning rooms and watch the clock spin to 5 p.m. and drive home feeling as if they have accomplished some great task. Meanwhile, the doers are still working, unable to sleep unless their work is done, or they fall down exhausted. When the doers have completed the task, the planners step forward and accept the rewards that were meant for the doers.

In the morning, art is born, regardless of who is there to take credit, or try to stop it. The art can literally be a painting or sculpture, or it can be a business venture. It can be a marketing program, a new car design, or a song. It can be any number of things that can slightly or with great impact change the way the world is viewed, felt, or understood. But the artist created. The artist followed his or her instinct to DO, and for that, the artist is rich. [Babbet, from Babbet's Feast: "an artist is never poor."]

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Factory Work

I recently completed a project at the Factory in Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville. Three commissioned works that hang in an office that is designed with an industrial flare. My industrial-themed art is well suited for the industrial environment cum advertising agency, but I most often picture my art on a minimalist wall in a Manhattan flat; a modern home in Chicago, with long white lines, steel counters, and wooden floors; or, of course, in a museum of art in LA.

But wow. Think of it. The nearly one-hundred-year old walls of the Franklin Factory, now no longer a boundary containing the production of wood-fired kitchen stoves, but holding artwork, as people within work on spreadsheets, talk on mobile phones, design Web sites on G5s, and microwave KettleKorn popcorn and day-old Starbucks.

To see the art in the Factory, go check out this page.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


It's late ... I just got home from North Carolina, but I wanted to share this quote sent to me by a friend. I don't know who wrote it, but it rings true with every ping of hammer on steel:

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Thank you for sharing that Alissa.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Forgive my philosophical ponderings, but today has been a day of introspection as I drove from Nashville to Charlotte, NC. I watched as semi-trucks hefted loads of steel I-beams. I drove over bridges constructed mainly of steel girders. I observed trains carrying land-sea pods. I thought about metal. I pondered mettle.

Most people understand metal as a rigid composite that holds its form against the strongest of forces, not unlike rules, codes, and beliefs in certain realities that structure the walls of our lives. My credo is not that the rules are necessarily always scarred or meant to be broken, but that those which oppressively affect our lives are typically a man's rules that have been forged in the furnaces of his mind for HIS good, not the good of mankind. The true mettle within us is defined by the latter, and cannot melt at any temperature (iron ore melts at
°C [2750 °F] ).

We are all alloys of our experience. Some of the finest alloys are actually stronger than steel.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Hammer

The hammer bounces from the aluminum, which relents to the hard steel on either side of it. This piece of aluminum will become what I call art, as it is shaped and stained, and transformed into a new existence, which pays no resemblance to the metal with which I started. This is art. The reshaping of matter. A mark that the artist has left to prove his or her passion, creativity, or existence. It is my hope that someone will enjoy this long after I am gone, even if it ends up in somebody's yard sale for a dollar.