No, I'm not going to weld together a metal cat...
December 8, 2010 5:59 PM   Subscribe

In January, I start a "welding for artists" class. As part of the lead-in information, the school recommends each person have an idea of what to create. I need an idea and would appreciate some pointers on where to look for designs/ideas, etc.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a particular subject that you are drawn to? That will definitely make suggesting an idea easier. Or will it be a random non-representational idea?
posted by Calzephyr at 6:02 PM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: I'm drawn towards randomness (my paintings are abstract, at best, but my stained glass pieces are usually functional (lampshades, picture frames)), but I'd rather not just stick metal pieces together haphazardly or make something that is purely functional.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 6:10 PM on December 8, 2010

Response by poster: I'm looking more for "hey look at this magazine/website" versus "you should totally make a garden gnome!"
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 6:19 PM on December 8, 2010

How about some fine artists? Deborah Butterfield, Andy Goldsworthy, Mark Bulwinkle, Tim Hawkinson, David Smith, Yves Tanguey, Alexander Calder (the Circus), Pae White, Martin Puryear, all will have info on them on the net.
posted by effluvia at 6:28 PM on December 8, 2010

Somthing like these maybe ?
posted by starvinron at 6:32 PM on December 8, 2010

IF you're serious about continuing welding, I would use the class to duplicate as many of the school's fixtures and tools as possible. Inspiration may come later, and you'll be streets ahead if you have your own shop made clamps and bending jigs.
posted by tim_in_oz at 6:40 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maybe something along these lines?
posted by smcameron at 6:44 PM on December 8, 2010

A local artist in my town creates some nice metal art, check out the gallery on her site.

She also has some of her stuff on facebook.
posted by davey_darling at 7:02 PM on December 8, 2010

When I took this class I made some masks.
posted by Marky at 7:08 PM on December 8, 2010

Find a school or sports group, and discuss making them a unique perpetual trophy to give flavour to an award they already have.

This is good training for you as an artist - can you work creatively with to provide something that fits into some broad concepts?
posted by jjderooy at 7:12 PM on December 8, 2010

I don't know why this picture is so tiny, but: whirligig at the American Visionary Art Museum.

Along similar lines, Dr. Evermor.
posted by the_blizz at 7:13 PM on December 8, 2010

My uncle is a large-scale welding sculptor. From seeing his work at various scales, I think the key will be figuring out a good balance between -- hmm, how do I say this -- more 3D and 2D things, or things that are constructed as vessels with walls rather than just having flatter pieces go together. It seems like it's kind of a case of spot-welding as opposed to trying to get lots of edges to go together so they turn into one piece.

The Dr. Evermor stuff, for example, or the work of his student/collaborator Erika Koivunen, is more spot-welding.

One isn't necessarily more complex than the other, but I think that's something I'd keep in mind.
posted by Madamina at 8:15 PM on December 8, 2010

Oops -- forgot the link for Erika Koivunen.
posted by Madamina at 8:15 PM on December 8, 2010

3D representation of one of your paintings?

But unless it's an extensive class, the best thing I did in an intro-to-welding class was sit and practice. And practice. And practice. Learning to make a pretty weld will come with more practice, I hope, but I ran out of class before I got there. I made a few things (some things I wanted to make that made me want to learn to weld--like horseshoe hooks) but mostly I practiced on the scrap pieces of metal they provided.
posted by galadriel at 8:18 PM on December 8, 2010

I wish I could find better pics of Swetsville Zoo but they may give you some ideas anyway.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:39 PM on December 8, 2010

I have one of this guys hanging bat sculptures in the doorway of my living room that I love. His gallery may inspire you. I'm very jealous that you get to learn to weld.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:57 PM on December 8, 2010

Google "Haeckel" images.
posted by ovvl at 9:05 PM on December 8, 2010

Yikes, didn't read your title, sorry!
posted by BoscosMom at 11:33 PM on December 8, 2010

I can't find it, but I saw this guy who welded a shape that, when you shone a light on it, projected an image in the form of a shadow. Sometimes a word, sometimes a picture. Pretty crazy, because you couldn't really tell what the shape would be by looking at it.
posted by jander03 at 4:54 AM on December 9, 2010

John Martini who works in Key West out of an old movie theater does awesome large scale work.

Mefi disclaimer: I've met him, but we're not pals, I just think his work is stunning.
posted by bilabial at 5:40 AM on December 9, 2010

Response by poster: Boscosmom: my title is a reference to the fact that I own cats, love my cats, and, when I mentioned this class to a friend, he said: "You're going to make a metal cat, aren't you?!" Woah... I have cats - my hobby doesn't need to revolve around them! The works you linked to are pretty awesome - as are the other links here!

Thanks, everyone! This definitely gives me some places to look for inspiration. Maybe someday I'll have a studio large enough to do a large piece. :)
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 6:21 AM on December 9, 2010

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