Making Art from Scrap Steel

As an artist, I take a lot of work from people who want specific things created for them. Often I work with clay, but sometimes I use metal in my creations. One person commissioned me to make a 12 foot metal statue of them using abstract ideas. For my metal works, I use steal, because of its strength and price. The price of scrap steel per pound is pretty cheap at the location where I buy it. I use a blow torch to weld the metal and cut it using a laser cutter that I built using a high powered laser attached to a computer system.

Before I start a project, I draw it on paper it get an idea of how I want it to look. On paper, my resources are unlimited, and the only thing that holds me back is my imagination. Once I figure out what the project will look like, I’ll break it down into smaller pieces and make dimensions for it. This helps me determine how much metal I will need to create each part, and also gives me a rough idea of how long the cutting and welding will take.

After getting some steel and hauling it back home, I started working on my project. I put some pre made shapes into the computer and had the laser cut them out. I use a vice to help me bend the metal, and then start bolting and welding pieces together. Once the pieces are secure, I’ll add more until I have a finished part. I designed each part to connect with the others by using bolts at the joints. If there is a project where I have to use moving joints, I’ll rig something up by using a system made from cables and pulleys to mimic human joints.

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