Bananas and Plasma Cutters

While taking this Sculpture I course, as part of the curriculum we learned to fabricate metal and how to operate real macho tools like the oxyactylene torch, arc welder, and my personal favorite the plasma cutter. Given that our teacher was very open about being unfamiliar with metal working processes it was a learning opportunity for everyone involved, therefore expectations for our effort's outcomes were really relaxed.
I immediately came up with a soft, yet angular shape by messing around with strips of paper board and I was set on creating a set of them to recreate the impression of a herd because of their ressemblance to nomadic animals like buffalo or elephants. Plus I have this growing interest in multiples.

Sadly though, I and my teacher had NO idea what we were doing so instead of curving and bending the steel strips first I welded them together, and made it basically impossible to continue with the form. Even putting it through rollers really made no progress. And taking a blow torch to it and beating the hell out of it with a mallet-hammer-thing after getting red-hot actually made it break. Soooo...

For a while I avoided the metal project entirely and focussed on the final project for the course, but returned to it shortly after the bandsaw mishap since the welding process required much less finger dexterity than carpentry. I ended up just making a somewhat large abstract sculpture that looked (maybe) architectural, and finally finding a use for my prior metal mistake.

It's nothing fancy, and is horribly unfinished looking, but I liked how it turned out. I can certainly imagine returning to the medium once getting more acquaintance with it because it yields a much more industrial and permanent feeling product, which I really enjoy. As for my yellow paper models, or "quadropods" as I like to call them, I held on to them and plan to make them in some sort of casting process. Whether it be a metal cast or a clay cast, I haven't figured that out yet.


  1. Seeing the steps make the piece much stronger.

  2. Great work with the plasma cutter, I think it looks good as it is.

    1. Thanks! It's been rusting out in our patio for a couple months now so it looks even cooler. Haha.