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Horsing Around

The finished products
Making the many little welds for the mane
More many little welds
About finished … but it needs a halter
Second verse … inverse from the first

Welded metal art – 2019-31 and 32, Project #48 and #49. Feeling like Santa Claus (or in my case – Danta Claus?) and time for a little present making. The idea for the horse heads was very intentional – I knew exactly whom (grammar check?) I was making these for and exactly why this was the perfect present for them. In the process of digging through the metal box, I identified quite the pile of centrifugal clutch weights. I had wondered how they may be incorporated into a project, and the idea came to me as I developed my plan for this project. I intended to use the little clutch weights to form the mane for these horse heads. It was initially a matter of laying the odd shaped weights out and figuring out how they would look as a flowing mane. Believe it or not, there was a position for each piece that resulted in the best look – yes, lots of head tilting and chin rubbing required to determine optimal positioning. After much consternation, it became obvious that it was time for action – so I started TIG welding the weights together to gain a real perspective of how it would look. And the more I welded, the better the result looked. I have mentioned this in prior posts, but the nice part of making something look natural is ‘imperfect’ positioning actually provides for a perfect result. It becomes a situation that is not about doing something wrong, but just letting it happen (and happen it did!). Everything small thing that happens in the process of creating (art … or anything) becomes part of the bigger story.

The first part of the project(s) was to establish the outline of the horse head(s). That was accomplished using some used-up 219 kart chain. The chain links were welded together to form a firm outline. I used the first completed horse head outline as a template for the second one. Then came the manes … and as I mentioned the manes were created from welding many little kart clutch weights together in a purposeful manner (as opposed to non-purposeful/random manner … we must have order here in the shop). One of the challenges for the mane welding was holding the weights in place to weld. Lots of repositioning and moving around the weld table to make those welds. And occasionally welding a pair of needle nose pliers to the piece (nothing a grinder/cutter couldn’t remedy). The horses needed some eyes and of course nostrils (gotta see and breathe, right?). The eyes were created from the round spacers I had in the bin, bent to look like eyes with a flat-head bolt welded into the middle. The nostrils were rigging pulley “eyes” (the part a hook goes though to hang/hold the pulley). If all that doesn’t make sense, then just consider them ’roundy’ looking things that worked great as nostrils. The last piece was a halter – I felt they completed the look of each piece. The halter material was just strap metal cut to length and added for the visual.

I like knowing that this process will never be done (there is no finish line), and I love the feeling associated with creating. I also enjoy the appreciation of the things that come out of the shop. Gratitude is the ultimate form of receivership – from my perspective that also applies to the gratitude I feel towards everyone that has supported (and continues to support) me along the way in this venture. Everything that happens is part of the plan, there is no such thing as doing something wrong – it just all becomes part of the end result … or big picture … well, you get the point. The learnin’ that occurs along the way is wisdom (sounds way better than screwing-up). I am very glad the recipients liked these original hand-made gifts – I enjoyed making them and it warmed heart giving them. So it was time to move on to more presents and stuff. But for now – do something, learn something, screw-up … I mean gain wisdom, know that we are complete … and Weld On!