Metal Bear grows

July 20, 2006 | Filed in:

Tonight I spent a solid 5 hours working on the bear in an overheated metalshop. You know, if you’re not sweating, you’ve not having any fun! He’s not got a much more complete skeletonal structure and more weight in his back-end to keep him balanced. Head, legs, body, shoulders, and neck have all been honed. Next week I hope to start adding skin! Here are two pictures from today: from the right and from the back.


Metal Bear begins

July 14, 2006 | Filed in:

Using this old drawing as inspiration, I began the bear last night. So far, he’s got a basic skeleton, same way the elephant, bull, and dog all started out. He’s going to be leaning forward, and looks like he should topple over, but I’ve put some heavy weights at his back end to keep him upright. There’s a lot of work to do before he’ll be done: complete legs, head, skin, etc. Maybe I’ll squeeze in an extra visit to the metalshop to work on him. Here’s his picture so far.


Back in the Metalshop

June 15, 2006 | Filed in:

So I’m back in the metalshop for the summer. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to make. So far, I created a tool that screws into the ground so I can tether the dog when I hang out in the park. Art as tool. I also started forcing this … hump. It’s pretty neat how you can make the metal stretch by heating it, putting it in a “mold” and banging the heck out of it. Here’s what it looks like so far. I also took two neat metalshop photos.


elephant is done

April 20, 2006 | Filed in:

I was lucky enough to get one extra day in the metalshop this spring, and took the time to finish the elephant! He’s now got a trail with stringy hairs hanging off of it and, most importantly, he’s got ears. I also heat-treated the legs, gave him toes, and fixed up some areas that needed fixing up. In the picture to the right, he’s cooling off, trunk-up, in a bucket of filthy water. There’s also a picture of him cooling trunk-down! More development photos here.

He’s now for sale – learn more here.


elephant with trunk

April 3, 2006 | Filed in:

The elephant is done for now! He’s got a trunk now, which was what he was really lacking. I’m going to shelve him for a month or two and then take him back to the shop for a tail, toes, perhaps some tusks. After that, he’ll be totally done and perhaps for sale. See more about him here…


elephant day 4

March 30, 2006 | Filed in:

Last night I spent a good 3 solid hours working on this little guy, but there’s less visible progress. I worked on some details, like adding metal to the body so that they ribs don’t show through as much. I also covered more of the head and started strategizing about the trunk.


elephant has a head

March 23, 2006 | Filed in:

I got all hunkered down with the elephant last night. Didn’t even take the dog out of hiding (though she did get to pose for a picture with the elephant). I added lots to the elephant’s body, which is now almost completely covered. I also created a complte frame for the head with little pieces of bar, and then started covering it. Exciting! Here is the elephant from the front and here from the side.


elephant gets skin

March 17, 2006 | Filed in:

How the elephant got its skin: Take a sheet of metal. Using the plasma cutter, hack it up into smallish pieces (1-4 square inches). Take once piece at time, weld it to the skeleton using the oxy-acetalyne welder. Heat, bang with hammer, weld some more.

I started this process on Wednesday night and got the elephant about 1/4 covered in skin. This process yields much better results on small creatures like this elephant and bull than it does on the dog, I think. Here are three pictures of the elephant, partly covered.


elephant begins

March 2, 2006 | Filed in:

Last night I also started welding a new project (last week I started it by cutting and preparing the first 12 pieces of metal, but it was last night that I began attaching them). This will be a little elephant, standing only about 8 inches high. He doesn’t photograph very well right now, so you have to imagine you can see him in three dimensions. Here he is from the side and from the back.


dog continues

March 1, 2006 | Filed in:

Spent a few hours tonight working on the dog laying an egg. Did a combination, for each piece of skin/armor I added, of forging, welding, and then heating with a rosebud and banging (in that order). I started adding to one front leg, but it’ll need some more work before it looks anything like right. Here she is viewed from above, with ears on show!


back to the dog

February 17, 2006 | Filed in:

AFter months and months of neglect, the dog has finally gotten some attention. It’s been a while since I posted photos of her, so the differences are clear. She’s got a lot more armor/skin now. I posted a photo showing new metal next to old metal. Next week, there’ll be more photos from the front.


final bull

February 9, 2006 | Filed in:

After a 7-month hiatus, I went back to the metalshop this week. I spent my time there reacquainting myself with the machinery and finishing off the bull. along with a bit more metal on his haunches, he’s now got a tail, which was really the final thing missing. The tail pulls the whole thing together. Take a look!


animal – day 7

July 18, 2005 | Filed in:

Last week I forged a lot more for my mystery animal. The forging process is interesting, especially when there’s no forge! I put up three pictures of the steps:

The animal now has a head and some of its hindquarters. Stay tuned.


animal – day 6

July 7, 2005 | Filed in:

Starting forging the skin. It’s quite challenging because the metalshop I’m working at doesn’t actually have a working forge right now. My process is to heat small areas of a sheet of metal using an oxyacetilyne rosebud torch, and then do the baning on a piece of wood or in the sand or on an anvil. After I have a few pieces forged, I weld them on. It’s slow going, but I can really see the animal taking shape!

Click here for all the photos.


Pot Rack – Day 1

June 28, 2005 | Filed in:

Today I spent 5 solid hours concocting and building a new project. It’s a pot rack for my kitchen! It’s got 5 welded-on hooks for pots, and a grid in the middle for S-hooks on which can hang other pots, ladels, spoons, etc.

It kind of looks like a medieval implement of torture.

Next time I’ll smooth down the rough edges and polish it a little bit. Take a look at two pictures here.


animal – day 5

June 24, 2005 | Filed in:

Astute readers who look at all the pictures that have been taken so far can probably figure out by now what this animal is going to be. However, you’ve probably got a very important part of it wrong. To see the photo that represents the sculpture’s goal, click here.

So, I’ve been working on the animal a lot this week, and all of the important parts are now there — 4 legs, and a head. I’m adding some more structure and lines (ribs and stuff like that) and hope to start attaching skin next week.

All the pictures so far are here.


animal – day 3

June 16, 2005 | Filed in:

Over the last two days, I cut and bent a lot more 1/2″ and 1/4″ rod for the animal’s basic skeleton (not in the medical sense). it’s now got a backbone, 4 legs, hips, and a couple of ribs. Finally last night, I started welding them all together. The main challenge was getting the pieces to sit still in place so that I could weld them. After a few long and frustrating sessions with the oxyacetyline welder, I finally switched over to the MIG, and like it a lot better! Next week I’ll add some head skeleture. Click here for current development pictures.


animal – day 1

June 9, 2005 | Filed in:

I’ve started a large project, based on a similar idea to the metal bull. This project will also be making an animal, as 3D as possible, from metal, starting with a skeleton and building out for a final shape. It should work better this time, as the animal is bigger. Oh, and it’s a myster. I know, but the final animal will be revealed to the world as the project progresses! The first step was done last night. I hand-bent a 1/2inch piece of rod into the backbone.