We love metal here at Cobalt Designworks and pride ourselves on offering infinite possibilities in custom metal work. Got an idea? We’ll help you realize it as long as Dave gets to play with iron, alloys and cool tools, and I get to add some design panache. The challenge with offering such a wide range of goods is that sometimes sculpture as pure art gets placed on the back burner, yielding to functional art or sometimes just plain function. The past month here it’s been all about railings, and this week it’s looking more and more like we’re in the sign business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer that more art should be built into everyday objects and I’m glad we get to influence that in our own small way. Not to mention that we’re quite happy to have railing and sign jobs right now. Period.
But today the art-for-art’s-sake urge hit me like a ton of bricks. I WANT TO CREATE A SCULPTURE! Early on when we formed the business Dave and I made a pact to always have at least one sculpture in process at any given time no matter what else we’ve got going on in the shop. For the past few weeks we haven’t been living up to our promise, so today I started looking through my sketchbooks trying to make the delightful decision of what to bring to life next. I’ve been hesitant to post raw designs but figured I’d risk it and throw them out there for all to see and give you a little glimpse into the early stages of a sculpture idea.
The above design is second in our Shapely series, a play on big simple shapes and bright bold colors. A bit sleeker than the original Shapely and still open to an infinite array of color choices, I envision it standing 10 feet tall. Here’s the original.
This mermaid design has been in my sketchbook since 2002 and I just happened upon it again. I love seafaring mythology. This sculpture would add to our growing collection of powerfully feminine figures. I look forward to refining the design of the scales and breasts, and exploring different textures for each. This will surely give Dave some new fabrication challenges and a chance to expand his metalworking skill set.
The design below is further along in process; from my 2-d pencil sketch we created a refined 3-d version using Rhino software. It is a possible commission for a client who has an office along the Columbia River with river-themed elements throughout. The waves will be cast glass, a new process for us. I’ve taken one casting class, and will no doubt need to practice a bit before working on this piece.
Which sculpture do YOU think we should build next? Leave a comment and let us know.