Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ringos by a Gringo

Forged and formed sterling silver. Controlled tapers and curvaceous scrolls contribute to the "look" they offer

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Red work bench, Welded Steel

To keep our moving load lighter, my studio workbench was left behind in the sunny alley, behind our former house, in Tempe, AZ. It was a kitchen table, but it served as my 'desk,' or jewelers bench, fairly well. It was a tad low, and could've been raised a few inches. Now in a new studio, I required a new bench. With the bench-top acquired separately, I now needed a base, or frame. This is it: It's a red, metal, workbench, at a height I like.

Friday, November 23, 2012

King Turkey Beer Original Recyclure finds a great Home

"What a suprise to be looking at these lures in Apache Jct AZ and see this lure. The beer was prduced in New Ulm MN for a town celebration in Worthington, MN. Can't remember what year it was(early to mid 80's). We are the beer wholesaler who sold this product from our distribution location in Worthington. I trucked almost every can that was available from New Ulm to Worthington, I knew the can as soon as I looked at the lure. The lure had to come back to MN, I have it on display at home now, THANKS" - Mark Hagen Hagen Bev Dist Inc

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Building a Blacksmithing Air Hammer

Keeping with my regular pace of only a few new posts per year ... This project started nearly two years ago at Arizona State University with graduate student, Leon Nash. Erik Bogner, Leon,and myself attended a "power-hammer" demo hosted by Ron Kinyon with the support of the Arizona Artist Blacksmith Association. Now being finished, there are some things I'd like to try differently the next time around; also, the hammer's current position is horizontal on a flatbed until I can get it installed in its new smithy-home. We are a few weeks off from that, but it'll be worth the wait. New home being Millersville, PA. Here are a few images of the hammer. Also, the whole building process was photo-documented and can be viewed more thoroughly, here:
The image of the foot control is an "in-progress" photo. There are items in the photo that are not a part of the design, but rather "place holders" and/or prop-ups. Both the hammer design and the foot pedal design are credited to Ron Kinyon. I took a few liberties in some minor spec. changes. The foot pedal is designed and intended as a remote-style control, so when working longer pieces, the hammer-operator is not tied to being right next to the hammer.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Red Headed Polka Dance Shiner Fish Fishing Lure

The name about covers it. Newly finished lure. It's off to it's first exhibition, at Central Arizona College. See last post for details.
This one measures about 3" X 3" X 1/2". It's heavy and would cast a mile. Unfortunately, it's a wall hanger due to the improper balance/position of the line tie in point. This lure was started over two years ago, and sat unfinished. Amazing is the subtly between unfinished and finished pieces.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Time for an Art Exhibit

Original Recyclures, Cockamamie Candleholders, Moke-a-bou musky lures, Moku-metal-petals. And a few other items you might find interesting. Exhibition dates: January 18th - March 2nd. Opening reception on Tuesday, Jan 17th, from 6 - 8PM. Central Arizona College, Student Services Building, Visual Arts Gallery, 8470 N. Overfield Rd., Coolidge, AZ, 85128.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Boat Ride

Time for a boat ride. New "points" and a new (used) prop added an extra 10 MPH. Tops out at 48 MPH @5500 RPM.

-Bass Boat Chronicles Summer 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011


Spreads on nicely. Due to a recent failed follow through on a business opportunity (on their part), I now have over 150 wax anvil models waiting to be cast in either bronze, silver, or gold. If'n you interested, Holler. Otherwise you can find the bronze version awaiting you on my etsy shop (see link off to the side of this blog page.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The interim -

Almost a year since this piece was finished and, just now, taking images. Yes, I know, lame. An earlier post suggested you'd see better quality images "soon." However, soon didn't happen; lots of other things, including unrelated posts, did. Now, finally, here are some better lit, neutral background, images I recently shot. This piece is approximately 36"X12"X12". The smallest of the Cockamamie Candleholder Series. This is #4 in the series, as well. Available here:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ever get the feeling...

... you are being watched?!

I did one particular day (or would it be peculiar?). Funny feeling. You know the one - the one where you are being spied upon. There have been times when my two-year-old saunters silently in to the studio, only to startle me, by clicking the magnets on my wife's anvil. But this time it was something different. Less startling, but unsettling, all the same. Then a quick glance down into my trash. There he was, the elusive Trash Can-Monkey. Blending in to his surroundings as only a chameleon or walking-stick could. After snapping a quick picture, he was released and on his way.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Overdue In-the-Water image

After month's of anticipation, I was finally able to get my antique bass boat in the water. Most antique shops mandate a 20 year, or more, age of items for sale by their vendors. This boat was made in '81 - almost 30 years - so for reasons of nostalgia, I'm referring to it an an antique. Pictured here in beautiful Galesville, WI on Lake Marinuka.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

From Playskool to Pricey Fisher

Before I start posting images of fishing and fish (firmly relying on catching fish), I wanted to show images of a new lure I plan on dunking and dragging through Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin waters this summer. Hopefully this lure finds it's way into the mouths of many a fish this summer. "Just throw out yer line, and reel it in... it's the good 'ol boys... going fishing agin... " Thanks Rob.

Time Travel

At dinner, my oldest son asked my wife and I if it were possible to 'go back in time.' I waited to see what her response was going to be, as she did, mine. After a brief silence we said in unison, "no." Well, let me take you back to circa 1974. I wanted to share an image of the first work bench I ever knew. It was given to my eldest sister and I before I was even in kindergarten. I remember looking through leaflet advertisements from local hardware stores like Coast to Coast and Gambles, to find that special item, 'to make.' Seeing this forgotten bench again for the first time in thirty-plus years, it made me think back to wanting to make something. I 'got it' way back then. I knew I wanted to be a maker - a maker of things. A lot of time had passed in between the first rush of the inventive spirit and when I actually started making objects. The thought of there being a connection, again, hadn't produced itself until last summer, when the memories of innocent child wanting to make his parent hangers - yes, hangers - out of scrap 2X4's, came storming back. I distinctly remember the feeling of realizing I lacked the requisite skills (and tools) to undertake and achieve such a lofty goal. After all, a wire coat hanger from wood?! I haven't given hope, but have moved on to alternative articles of manufacture. Fishing lures, for example.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shamelessness Onward

Here, at last, is the finished group (minus 7). 3 dozen completed, although I thought this image was balanced well enough with only a partial representation. Available soon on first, though, making their way to Houston, TX for the annual SNAG conference.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Some new Shamelessness

New Postcard design created by Melissa McGurgan of WM Design. This is the design for the back of the postcard. The Recyclures were conceived ten years ago, and I will be bringing 3 dozen to the SNAG conference in Houston, TX, March 10th through the 13th. Availability will be first come, first serve.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A healthy distraction VS. Underpinnings of a lifestyle

Almost as exciting as my first anvil, or first trip-hammer. As I remember, the purchase of my first anvil was pretty tame. $150 from a junk-yard owner in Wisconsin. A boat on the other hand - and a used boat, nearly thirty years old - offers more challenges, responsibilities, and ongoing financial needs. I felt a little different trailer-ing a boat through down-town Phoenix. Not because we are in the desert (that, in and of itself is a little curious, though), but because of the fact I exist in such a megalopolis. A feeling of 'small-town' crept back into my psyche.

The craft is not without issues. Many of the seals on and about the motor are leaking one thing or another. Not too surprised, to be honest. The seller was asking a very modest price with the notion that this is a fixer-upper. I look forward to another project, and hope to get it back and into the waters of the midwest, this summer. This boat was made in 1981, the last year Terry boats were made. At that time, their only competition was, the now famous, Ranger Boats.

Staying faithful to the metalsmithing tilt of this blog, the correlation here is the boat's model year, 1981, and the melting temperature of copper - 1981 deg F.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cockamamie IV - Cockamamie Light

An invitation to participate in an upcoming exhibition, SOOT, at the Made: art boutique,, had me back to welding and grinding. Here is a crude photo of my submission. I like to abide by the old expression "there is money in arc-welding." Well even if there isn't, it fun as hell being that close to so much electrical current an heat. This, being #4 in the 'Cockamamie' series, is approximately one foot shorter than it's predecessors; quiet a bit lighter, too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lecture, Gas Forge, and Mokume: Six Days in Nacogdoches, TX

Here are some images from my recent trip to Stephen F Austin University in Nacogdoches, TX. I was invited by recent ASU graduate, Lauren McAdams. Lauren is in her second year as the Metalsmithing Professor at SFASU. In the time I was there, she and I built a forge, lit it, and fired off 11 billets of 23-layer, copper and nickel silver, mokume-gane billets. ** For MORE IMAGES, go here:**

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Mokume-gane Lure

One of three and time is short, so I'm at least getting this one up to blog-status. Will soon be posted to my Flickr, Etsy, and Crafthaus... with the other two. Mokume-gane is copper and fine silver, floral elements are torch-fired, enameled copper. One of three made for the 4th Annual Intercollegiate Metals Exhibition.

Monday, September 7, 2009

In progress Recyclure Bodies

I've decided to try an enameled body, as opposed to a patina. Here are a few prior to enameling. I can't bring myself to turn on the kiln while it's still above 100 degrees outside. The connections will most likely need to change from rivets to miniature machine screws. The can and copper body-portions are formed with a hydraulic press.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Glorious Nature

A "Chappy" ride down the logging road, into the deep woods, offers stunning natural phenomenon such as these still-unfurling fern. What a great place to be by one's self and observe the great world of the wilderness. I would add, though, with this experience comes lots and lots - I mean boatloads of wood ticks...

Liking the woods and water

It's been almost two weeks and the weather is still cool. Today is especially windy and cool. Probably won't break 50 deg. I don't mind, though. The cool air feels good against my skin. Some days have been too windy to fish, but I've managed to get some images of fishing, fish and other various facets of the northern Minnesota environment.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Enameling underglaze samples

A few samples I recently finished using vitreous enamels and black underglaze pencil. These may or may not end up as anything but samples. I was really happy with the polychromatic, pastel-colored one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Breakfast Food

Some mornings are just better that others...

*Not Pictured: Buttered Toast and Tang

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Newly posted items on Etsy

The Original Recyclure Fishing Lure. Not all the lures in the image have been listed, but if'n you'd like to request a specific lure, holler! Some jewelry pieces listed recently as well.

LaCrosse Tradition

My experiences as an art student at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse were all positive, but none more so than those I took away from having had Bill Fiorini as a professor, instructor, and mentor. The most significant skill I was taught, was the production of diffusion-bonded Mokume-gane. At the time of my graduation I was still "dabbling" with the process, but later, in graduate school, I was able to spend the time to make mistakes, experiment with different metal combinations, build forges, and pattern-out material to the point I got very comfortable with the process. I am, typically, only making materials for my self, stock piling until a need arises.

Torch-fire Enameling

My presentation was based on the ability to form 18 gauge copper with a steel punch when back-supported with a hockey puck. The resulting floral-form was then enameled via torch-firing. Here I am doing the enameling with onlookers from the UW-LaCrosse metals program.

Together Again

This past march I was able, through the generosity of Ruth Anne Knapp, able to attend a gathering at the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse. The event loosely entitled "40 Years of Metals at UW-L" was an event to honor and celebrate the retiring of Professor, Bill Fiorini. Shown are (from L to R) Bill Fiorini, Brad Nichols, Becky (Chader) McDonah, Tedd McDonah, James Viste, Ruth Anne Knapp, Dale Wedig, and Mike LaRonge.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

40 years of Metals at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse

March 27 and 28th. Metalsmithing Symposium at UW-L hosted by Bill Fiorini. Bill has unofficially decided to retire and has put together an event to help celebrate his accomplishments as a Professor of Metalsmithing at UW-L. Dale Wedig, James Viste, Becky (Chader) McDonah, myself, and Brad Nichols, will be presenting demonstrations and showing 'n' telling about current and/or in progress work. Topics: Dale Wedig, Angle-Raising and manipulation a raised form; James Viste, Textures and further discussion of texturing die production for both ferrous and non ferrous metals; Becky (Chader) McDonah, Mechanisms/Captures and etching with PNP; Tedd McDonah, torch-fired enamels and threaded connections; Brad Nichols, chasing and repousse.