Replenishing the tiny round vases

After sending a big order to the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, we had to replenish our stock of extra-small Round vases. We we try always to have a full set of all our patina colors in these little vases.

You can order these from us in any color, from 3½ to 16 inches diameter, here.



Large wallpiece installation

I spent the middle of my year, after our studio move was more or less complete, building a wallpiece commissioned through G.J. Cloninger and Co. for installation in a common room in a luxury East Coast apartment complex. We began discussions for this commission late last year, and I started real design work in the Spring. The piece was installed at the end of August by Level Art Installations of Annapolis, Maryland.

Wallpiece RCB 18.01 in place – photo by Level Art Installations – Annapolis, MD

Closeups of the bundled tubes and rods:

This piece was a departure from our normal work in many ways. Though it was inspired by a tiny wallpiece I made several years ago, RCB 11.03, the scale of the piece, and the relative flatness required in public spaces due to ADA restrictions, required a bunch of new thinking for its engineering and construction.

wallpiece RCB 11.03 (12in diameter)

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New Menorah: Results

And here it is, the first of the limited edition in the new design mentioned last post. I’m pretty happy with it. Still don’t have a name for this edition yet, though.

New menorah design on its way

We’ve been busy, and I have a special commissioned wallpiece to show you all as soon as it gets installed. But in the meantime, I’ve been working on the design of my next limited edition of Tabard menorahs. The sketch is several years old, and I’ve been wanting to start the new series for a while, so I’m excited to be working on it at last.

Colors coming soon.

New jewelry designs

Working on some higher end jewelry designs this week. These represent an idea I’ve wanted to work on for a while – using our patinas the way other jewelers would use stones for color. The ‘cabochons’ in these pendants are in fact domed pieces of copper, colored with our patinas.

There’s more to come, and other new designs as well.

Fresh, shiny, new bracelets

Part of an order (including vases and clocks and earrings as well) on its way to Milward Farrell Fine Art in Wisconsin.

Last and first things

At the beginning of May we finally completed our move out of American Steel Studios. We’re still far from done with all the things we need to do to properly move into our studio, so things are not really in order for work yet, but we are getting some work done.

Though we’ve been doing a bunch of work here for a while, and David has made a lot of buckles almost exclusively on the new premises in the last few months, the first large piece completed in the new space was a table, made for on order for a customer through Artful Home.

pedestal table #27 with red patchwork copper sides

As it happens, another, larger table, of a new style (within the same basic design) was the last large piece we completed at American Steel, this one for a friend and fellow artist. It has a new style of top, a multi-piece front, and is a different proportion, being a 36-inch high, 12-inch deep console table for the owner’s front hall. I think it came out rather well.

Console Table #1

How our wallpieces weather outdoors

Do our wallpieces go outdoors? The answer is generally yes. There are some colors that fare better than others out of doors, but in general, the patinas represent a fully reacted layer on the surface of the metal, so they won’t change too much over time, barring major pollution, roof runoff, or salt fogs on the coast.

We have had good reports back from people who have had pieces installed for years. However, we ourselves haven’t hung that many wallpieces out of doors for long periods in the past, but now we have one good example that has hung for several years on David’s back wall – a western exposure in Berkeley, California, quite close to the San Francisco Bay, with lots of afternoon and evening sun, rain through the winters, and fogs off the Bay direct in from the Pacific.

We recommend that outdoor pieces have their wax re-applied every year or so. However, we did nothing to this piece for about four years.

Here are the results.

Wallpiece 05.45 as it was when first made, and as seen on the website:

And the wallpiece as it is today. It visited a couple of galleries, was on different walls indoors for seven or eight years, then was hung on the back wall for almost four years. (As you probably realize, the fence I photographed this on is completely new wood, not the place the piece has been hanging.)

The biggest differences in the patinas are in the black and dark green; the black patina used in both of these is somewhat water soluble, and has thinned over the years. The wax on the piece is also less glossy, which makes a big difference to the black part, which started out buffed to a gloss black.

There is also a bit of white buildup, probably mineral deposits from the water or from dust in the air, which have adhered to the surface and do not come off with a careful rinse. This is more noticeable on the brown patina, and at their worst on the bottom edge where water dripped off.

Overall, the piece is in great shape, and still looks fantastic. I would expect very little further change for many years outdoors, and more regular care and waxing would probably mitigate even this degree of change. If you are interested in a piece for hanging outdoors, ask us first about the particular patinas in the piece, but most will do this well or better.

Dragonback rings

It took a while for me to experiment with shrinking the dragonback bracelet design down to make a ring. Partly this was because I didn’t think people would go for cuff rings, but apparently they’re quite popular. They certainly make fitting easier! I’m very happy with the result, and I think it worthy of the original design.

The rings are made in Argentium sterling silver, a modern alloy with a marginally higher silver content than traditional sterling, plus a small addition of Germanium, which results in a silver which tarnishes slowly if at all, making it much lower maintenance. Each one is folded and hammered individually, not cast, so all will be different.

You can buy dragonback rings direct from me or through our Etsy store.

Wallpiece RCB 17.02

My first wallpiece of the year was in our traditional style, assembled from folded boxes, but I wanted to make another with my newer design style and construction technique, which I refer to as ‘chitin’, like wallpiece RCB 11.04, which recently sold at our show at Manna Gallery. So I began this piece as soon as the previous one was well under way, and finished it yesterday.