"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

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blacksmithed Hardware

Last summer I was invited to a blacksmithing class in NM GO HEREHERE .  I don't think I ever talked about a few of the things I made.  Blacksmithing is awesome, however it is just to labor intensive for me and I'm not set up for what it takes to make it a lucrative business.  I did learn some easy techniques for making a few items that I could do later if needed.  I loved twisting rods and making them so much more interesting, like these hooks ~ they were the first thing I made.

Believe it or not, it takes awhile to learn just to make a pointed end on a square bar.  There is a lot of heating up to a red hot stage so pounding is easier.

After learning a few of these techniques we were off to make something on our own.  It took me all day, but I made a huge handle for a gate that someday I will make.  I was so happy to walk away with something that started out as a 1/4 inch square rod and turn it into a beautiful iron sculpture and an experience I will never forget, especially every time I open that gate or door this handle will go on. I love those memories that surround you of something special.

 My final piece was something I had seen our instructor make out of a piece of steel pipe ~ it was a hummingbird.  I could never have imagined that by pounding a piece of pipe in many different angles would produce the shape of a hummingbird, but sure enough it worked!  It was impressive to watch and amazing to see the transformation.  In order to do this you needed a power hammer, alot of heat and a continuous motion and attention to where the hammer was slammin' down.  I didn't get mine finished and will add the wings and shape the tail feathers at some point, but you can see the results.

I'll always treasure that month and remember that stepping out of your comfort zone always gains you insight.

4 comments:

stonepost said...

Soozie, you would be a fun date! I used to have a coal forge and it took some time just to learn to build a proper fire! Ornamental Iron is mostly black because that is what the beeswax did that was used to prevent rust. I got old and tired and don't beat the iron much anymore. Still play though, just a little gentler. Nice hooks and a great door handle!

Kerry Estey Keith said...

As always Susie, your art is inspiring. I took a blacksmithing class (actually horse shoeing) but the pounding gave me tendonitis! yikes. Thanks for sharing the beauty.

Barry said...

SZQ- that must have been a real buzz. Such an experience to be involved in all that heating and beating and producing such beautiful forms out of grey lumps of iron. As you say though the sad thing is creating your own black-smithy - would have to be a real commitment for an investment of resources and space - but who knows what the future offers. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Go well. B

soraya nulliah said...

Dear SSQ-OMG!!! I think your work is just awesome Susie!! That door handle is beautiful and...I find it difficult to imagine you can do that by pounding and hammering!!!Can't wait to see the door it's going to go on one day. Totally agree with stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Hope you are feeling a little better about grandbaby-poo leaving. I cna only imagine how difficult it must be. xxx

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