Metal Artwork
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Steampunk Vulture, 2007
When Sean asked me to join the Steampunk Treehouse project ( I knew I was signing up for a lot of work. He introduced me as the kinetics expert, so I guess I had to step up to the plate and bust some shit out. So here is the cable driven steampunk vulture before being installed into the branches. I went through many sketches and ideas before fabrication of each part. First came the head, then the wings, and then the body and legs. It was a very linear process which I usually don't like - typically gives a piecemeal final product, but this went well. People really love it so far. I wonder what will be its future after Burningman.
UPDATE: Burningman 2007 was awesome but the cable and lever to actuate the wings kept breaking. I blame the welding machine and generator. Currently the entire tree is sitting in a warehouse in many pieces. :( But the vulture will live again briefly for the Edwardian Ball 2008.
Update: After installation at both Coachella and the Crucible's Firearts Festival, the treehouse was permanently installed at Dogfish Head Brewery. I redesigned and helped fabricate a new super strong snow worthy roof.
5toncrane blog
Marriage, 2007
A five year overdue wedding present to Bindiya and Michael. With my own recent engagement, marriage is on my mind. Nancy and I have been together for so long our relationship seems like two people moving forward by balancing and cooperating. Also it sometimes seems like a circus act.
Trackman, 2007
The 'Bikeman' sculpture inspired a few other gestural sculptures. At first the rider's back was going to be arched the other way, but Nancy said it was too sexual. So now it is arched like a normal racer. The helmet ended up polished because it was welded from two different alloys and one of them did not patina, and I wanted the helmet to be uniform. Maybe I should have cleaned up the welds, or I really should learn how to TIG.
Pennyfarthingman, 2007
A gestural sculpture. This one was patina'd using 'Japanese Brown' and finished with Trewax. I like the sepia and rust look for this antique style bicycle. I tried to mimic the original wheelman's riding cap. The original drawing for the penny wheel had a much larger scroll, but a miscalculation led to this one. Eight months away from the forge (doing engineering work) really degrades the muscles and hammer control. Making these gestural sculptures made it crystal clear that I need more practice.
Bikeman, 2006
Made for Howard and Joni, my sister's foster parents. Howard is an avid cyclist. The photos might not show it, but the piece is about one foot long and six inches high. Forged steel, weld, patina, wax. Fun project that spurred a series which is still brewing on paper.
Eclipse, 2006
Made for parents' house. They live on Crescent Ave in Sunnyvale, so I thought an eclipse would be appropriate. Those old cotter pin cranks are still good for some things. I was torn between balancing the crank arms or making the moon pendulum back and forth. They ended up balanced so the moon will stay in any position.
Taj Mahal drapery hooks, 2006
Commission by Farhana, Monica's friend. After a long delay due to engineering work, finally got around to designing and making this. Maybe some day I will see it installed in her house.
Home Pillow, 2006
Inflated welded plate. Plate 'donated' by Sauce Restaurant's sidewalk renovation. Technique from Elizabeth Brim. Made for and rejected by KSW's Home group show. I'm never quite comfortable at "Home". It is an anchor which I sometimes yearn to be free of. Untextured pillow donated to San Jose Works winter auction.
SF Bicycle Astrolabe, 2005
Finally finished this bastard after learning how to use the plasma cutter. Made from 1/8" brass plate, 1/4" ABS, bicycle parts, and etching acid. Our kitchen sink will never be the same. Front side has map of San Francisco. Only the bicycle lanes are shown (no Bay Bridge crossing). Back side has various components. Perimeter has a little prayer. The rete rotates freely. Displayed at Lurie Management Show and Submission Residence.
Noguchi Table, 2005
Made from two kids mountain bike frames and a custom cut glass top. Custom lacquer paint job with automotive clear coat. Machined ABS fittings. Cost me about $400 to make, but only auctioned off for $270 at 2005 SFBC Winterfest.
Vacuous Squids, 2004
Forged steel. Vacuum tubes can be swapped with candles. displayed at APATURE 2004
Bicycle Orrery, 2002
My first of hopefully many astronomy inspired pieces. Door knob, bike parts, and halogen lamp cover. One of my first projects after buying my welding machine. How did I live without it for so long? Displayed at Submission Residences show and Lurie Management Show
Sauce door handle, 2004
A friend's restaurant needed a door handle for the backdoor. The restaurant is called Sauce and their logo is similar.
dagger, 2001
My first and probably last blade. Blade made from forging a flat file down. Handle from oak and twisted stainless steel wire. Hilt and pommel forged steel, threaded to blade. Blade was hardened and tempered, but I'm STILL sharpening it. Made to match existing rapier I bought in high school. I had a leather worker make a custom sheath. He usually makes high end purses and saddlery (Zalud). I carried the dagger around when I combed the alleys of San Francisco looking for my stolen bicycle.
firetools, 2002
Commissioned to some friends. Each tool is hollow past the twisted section to make them lighter. Given my limited resources at the time, I'm really happy how they turned out.
trivets, 2005
made upon Nancy's request. plus one went away as a wedding present. (trivets hold hot pots and dishes off the table top)
Railing Vase and IKEA vase, 2005
one piece from IKEA plastic vase and forged angle iron. Other from forge darkened railing extrusion and copper wire.
Ribbed Box and Rivet Box, 2005
Both forged steel. The Ribbed Box went away as wedding present. The Rivet Box we use to control our remote controls.
Temple Burning, 2003
Forged steel picture frames. Photos taken with disposable camera at Burningman 2003. The set was on display at the Crucible student art show in 2004.
stair railings and wall sconces, 2004
my mom designed and built a duplex in Sunnyvale, CA. It needed railings and custom lighting. The paper covering the bulbs is held using magnets.
Steam Turtle, 2003
Forged found steel and Warhammer plastic model kit and acrylic paint. Probably inspired by China Meiville books. I actually sold this piece during open studios. It went as gift to someone rather lazy.
Flaming Turtle, 2002
Found a really big wok on the street. Had to do something. The artwork of Tyrome Tripoli inspired the appendages. It now sits in the garage with dust from Burningman still on it.
VW Hubcap Mirror, 2004
Made this during my second solo open studios to pass time. I found the shiny hubcap a little while before. The forge was set up in a broken elevator shaft at basement level. With the roll up door open, people walking along the street hear me pounding away and look down for the free show. This being at 17th and Capp in the Mission District meant quite a few of those people were crack addicts and/or prostitutes. yay!
Submission Studios sign, 2003
Made this for my first solo open studios. Gift to the shared metal/music studio called Submission. Basement level workplace in the Mission district (get it?). Unfortunately someone who had just broken their leg in a motorcycle accident was living right above the forging area. She was on meds, trying to sleep, and I had to forge into the night. It's hard to be quiet blacksmithing.
Dragon, 2002
The first thing of note I forged. While I was still apprenticing at Jefferson Mack. It went eventually to my mom for a Christmas gift. She is the year of the dragon. I made a snake for my sister and a rat for my dad. I haven't made a bull for my brother though.
kinetic #1 and #2, 2004
originally for background in a film idea, but never finished. displayed at Live Free or Die
wishbones, 2004
I felt bad drilling so many holes into our apartment walls, so I made these hooks that hang from the molding.
bedroom curtain rod, 2004
Spare parts from a curtain rod commission went towards my own bedroom curtain rod. A large percentage of our furniture I end up making. Mainly out of space and economic contraints. It is often a race between my girlfriend losing patience and buying some fragile piece of crap, and me making it.