"Kyoto Roses" is a piece I created for a lifetime friend, based on our mutual love of the city. During my visit there, I saw a bamboo gate and a wooden fence that I could envision being created in steel. The client had a special place in his home to highlight a piece combining the two. I had been overwhelmed by the flowers everywhere in Kyoto, so I added a vase to the gate post, with one rose for each of his daughters.
For this same client, I made two of the same candelabra design, only several years apart.
Throughout these years, there was always a steady flow of fireplace screens to make. Here is a special 2 door model, with the design based on a nearby Navajo rug.
Here are several photos of some of the seven fabricated gates I made for this estate.
During this period of time, I was privileged to be one of the smiths who made bases for "Aurora" sculptures by noted Santa Fe glass artist Elodie Holmes. You can view her exceptional work at her website, www.liquidlightglass.com Here are shop photos of a couple of the unique pieces I made with her.
Two of the more challenging projects I did during this time involved re-working existing pieces into new pieces for the home of an old friend from my Philmont years. In the first, I took existing strap steel and re-shaped it to create a stair railing. I built a new framework and used the old steel to provide the infill detail. The finished railing had a wooden cap rail created by the woodworker who re-built the stairs. Some photos of the job in progress are included.
At the beginning, the framework is laid out, and the sandblasted old parts are scattered about to select and modify for inclusion in this jigsaw puzzle.
The pieces were labeled prior to disassembling them for cleaning preparatory to assembly.
After assembly, the entire assembly was chemically blackened, then waxed, transported to Colorado and installed.
Here is the finished railing prior to the installation of the wooden cap rail.
The second project for this client involved taking a pair of ordinary fabricated gates already on the property and embellishing them with morning glory vines and a hummingbird. Unfortunately, I only have the one poor photograph of the completed installation, but felt that this "silk purse from a sow's ear" project deserved inclusion here.
Here is the hummingbird, who was inserted into one of the semicircles.
The finished project after a New Mexico snowstorm.
Throughout my career, I made many dragons. This motif has been a common fixture in ironwork for centuries and appears in many cultures in many forms. In the last few months of my career, I completed two of them that had been begun years ago. This first one, "Mother with Triplets," is a coat hook.
The second, "The Moody Dragon," became a variant of the small Colter bunny series I created. His base is 8" in diameter and the bowl is 5" in diameter.
One of my final projects was a re-purposing of scrap copper vise jaws. During most of my career, I worked with copper covers on my steel vises, as shown here and in the hummingbird photo above. They protected the hot steel from being marred by the steel vise jaws, and the copper actually gripped better than the steel jaws. As they wore out over the years, I threw them in a pile under the bench, never quite sure what to do with them. It came to me last winter to flatten them out and create a piece of art from them. They are connected by copper rivets and have a light green patina. All of the hammer blows and chisel cuts created wonderful textures. The title, "Vise Jaw Covers, Etc." refers to the additional copper pieces used to connect and balance the piece.