"ARROYO"

A dry channel through which water flows intermittently and irregularly. Kind of like this blog.

My art is an infectious need for me, sometimes a burden but most often a blessing.

This blog is about me and my obsessions, my loves, my need to create and my need of JUNK. I'm addicted to thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets and all roads leading off the beaten track to discover that perfect piece of junk. I recycle old license plates, old shovels, wheelbarrows, saw blades and anything else that's funky using my hand held plasma cutter. I love working with steel, sculpting, photography, watercolor painting, stained glass, and turning everyday utilitarian objects into art. Junked cars ~ I will always veer off the path to search out the beautiful wrecked Arroyo JunKers throughout Arizona, New Mexico and anywhere else the road may lead. When I'm not searching for those JunKers
I ~ RESURRECT ~ STEEL

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shovels!! You Know I LOVE Em'

My first customer to ever buy one of my shovels was my welding teacher, Wayne!  He bought the first 3 out of 4 that I made.  I was so excited ~ I couldn't believe my welding instructor was interested in what I was doing.  His Sister's name was Rose and he bought this one especially for her.
I laugh at these two now, but I guess whenever you're starting on something with no training there is always a learning curve.
After my first few classes of learning the HAZARDS of welding and the possibility of explosions and fire I finally got to get busy with the business of welding.  We were suppose to find a piece of steel and weld these nice straight beads of weld that looked like fat worms.  Well, I did that for about 2 mins and of course was bored.  I don't do well with those types of lessons so, I went to the scrap pile and gathered a bunch of scraps so I could do the instruction, but in a different manner, so I welded my pieces together and did the worms on the petals.  This was my very first welded piece..... Crude but it held!  I was the only one in class to leave with a project that day ~ the all male classroom just sort of stared at me.  I must of had some dirt on my nose or something!!   :)

The second week into class I was introduced to a "hand held PLASMA CUTTER"..... and the heavens opened and my heart beat faster and there were angels singing Hallelujah!  Seriously!!!!  My instructor showed me how to turn this machine on, how to ground it and said "whatever you do.... don't put your fingers in front of the flame if you want to keep them", then said "have fun"!  Well the next day, Friday, I had to have my own plasma cutter and went out and bought one ~ From that moment on I've been cutting out shovels and steel.

I came back to class on Weds after my big purchase with my first piece of Art - My cut shovels!  My instructor was floored and from then on he sort of let me do my own thing.  No more practicing welding techniques for me.

I've sold a lot of shovels since then ~ here are a couple of my favorites.
I love church windows and this one was a challenge because trying to cut intricate designs close together is really difficult because the cutter cuts at about 2500 degree Fahrenheit and fries everything in its path and the surrounding area.  You have to move fast and try to be accurate.  I've learned a lot since this one.
This was for my best friend ~ she found an old scoop shovel on her property and gave it to me.  I didn't have the heart to sell it, so being the horse woman that she is and an Irish Lassie I gave it back to her with the Irish Symbolic image of EPONA, the horse goddess.
 This one gets the most attention ~ DIA DE LOS MUERTOS ~ Day of the Dead.  It has a crazy candelabra on it and it truly fun, fun, fun.
This one is another favorite and I gave to another friend who's always helping me with garage sales and always willing to dumpster dive in the worst of places with me.
I have such fun making these and I've got about 40-50 shovels in the shed that need to be cut so I'd better get to it! 

7 comments:

stonepost said...

wow, Soozie, I am sooo jealous! You have an artist's eye but the hands of a surgeon! Skilled and beautiful, delicate and steel, strong!

Luthien said...

omg girl!! you are born to weld! i would NOT DARE teach you anything more too if i were your instructor :) he know the real deal when he sees one! your metal art is like no other ... every time i come her my jaw wont return to it's original place! and it's all your fault! how can anyone, anyone make such heavenly art out of the most unlikely of junk!!!!????

Jori said...

Wowza! You are amazing! You do beautiful work.

Jori said...

I just noticed that your profile said cancer survivor! Congratulations. I am too! I have been cancer free for 3.5 years.

Barry said...

SZQ - you do magic with your hand held plasma cutter. So how does one go about buying your shovels? B

Soraya Nulliah said...

Dear SSQ-OMG!!!! How on earth do you do that????I am floored! It is so intricate-like lace. I laughed at your all male class looking at you like you were from another planet:) And your instructor too!! Bet he didn't want you to take his job:) SSQ-you are seriously talented. I love the last one the best-all those colors! xxx

soraya nulliah said...

hahaha-SSQ!!! I know just what you mean! Isn't it maddening when you discover something so awesome like Pinterest or Tumblr and...you have no time but still want to spend hours on it anyway??? Pinterest is way too cool. seriously!
I have been so super lazy over here SSQ. Just enjoying these summer days. I need to get my butt in gear but..I have no energy. toddler + 42 = pooped!!! xxx

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