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Flowers for mom

Happy Mother’s Day (whew!)
The first of the two flower/vase pieces

Welded metal art – 2019-16,17 Projects #33,34. By now I had developed a system that included making piece(s), cleaning the product up (wire brush, grinder, shirt-tail, etc), taking a few photos along the way, and making a post on Facebook and Instagram (adding in my best effort at being clever or humorous in the post). I was developing a small but loyal following with my work in the metal art field. Many thanks to the people in my life that supported and continue to support me along the way in this venture. My trajectory involved (and still does) a steep learning curve regarding welding skills and metal preparation (… and welding settings, and TIG tungsten prep, use of feed, weld angles, weld distance, gas flow … yeah, there is a lot to it). I would be remiss here not to mention my respect to the many great welders out there that lay down beautiful welds. They are truly artists and an inspiration to me to continue to improve. So with the metal washer roses planted, and the washer bin and shop freed of all the larger washers, I was catching up on some social media feedback. Hmmm, a message from mom … Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days … a veiled suggestion that a mother would really love the surprise of a metal rose on Mother’s Day (… Uh-Oh!). After a quick and unsuccessful search for anything that would work like the larger rose-style washers that were currently absent from my shop, I was in need of an alternative plan. Based on my metal floral design experience up to this point I scrambled to pull together something flower-like for her. A quick online search identified some flower designs using metal nuts and bolts. I had collected a ton of nuts and bolts in my parts bin – so I began a design that included that thought. And what you see in the pictures was the result. While not the ‘surprise’ she had suggested, I retained the graces of my mother with her Mother’s Day gift.

The design for the flower/vase setup was pretty simple (what can I say – I didn’t have much time with an impending due date). The flower head included a geometric design of nuts TIG welded in a hexagon shape around a center nut. Two bolts welded together formed the flower stem with formed washers serving as the flower stem leaves. The original intention was to make two identical flower-vase setups – like bookends. Interestingly, I had selected the one-and-only long bolt in the shop for the first flower stem (go figure). With no identical match for the first stem (and sticky note added to the pile on my desk to do a better job of pre-planning weld projects), I punted. Ahh, how about the ‘two-tiered’ effect – recall the Knights who say “Ni!” … the Monty Python reference in the last post … eh, never mind. The stems were then inserted and welded into a 4-cycle engine crankshaft gear that served as the vase. The welding was not as tedious (welding thicker metals together was definitely more forgiving) and the products came together rather quickly – I was pleased with the end product. There they were, two free-standing flower/vase pieces – the day and my graces were saved.

With the end of the Mother’s Day project it was time to setup for another day and another project. I would soon realize that the day of additional requests was right around corner. My social media presence up to this point had been limited to sharing my fun times and photos with the wonderful people in my life. I do intentionally stay away from posting about politics, religion, and negativity – just be happy, and be happy with my life and my best effort. Besides learning that you can always count on mom for a Facebook “like” (although it may be a month or two after the original post with a response as if the post just happened), I was discovering possibilities that social media offers in promoting. Promote yourself responsibly (kindness, love, fun – all that stuff), ignore the critics, be genuine, be real … and Weld On!