THE ART OF METAL & STONE
Lake Superior Rock Creations
Mark & Jan Herbert create beautiful and practical items from rock they gather from the north and south shores of Lake Superior. They cut, drill, and sometimes spray or sandblast the rocks. The natural rock suggests what they create. Larger rocks are stacked to form cairn-like lamps while the smallest rocks become earrings or magnets. Mid-size rocks form the bases for rain gauges, cairns or bud vases. Both wine bottle stoppers and drawer pulls are drilled, an insert applied, then a bolt and adhesive secures the finished product.
Mark and Jan make each item from beginning to end, letting the stark beauty of the rock show through. Their products are truly Unique – Naturally!
Wendy Hightshoe creates her art from old metal. She enjoys creating her art two-fold, the hunt of finding old rusted metal and then creating her art from those items.
Many times when she sees a piece of metal she sees it as a part of a bird or an animal, and other times it is just an object that intrigues her. Her items not only make her feel good as she’s creating them, they also make people smile and laugh when they see them.
Sleeping Dragon Studio
David is a mixed media and metal artist whose unique style has been heavily influenced by a childhood spent in southern California. He spent a lot of time at Disneyland sketching the themed rides and animatronic characters. Character and performance have always influenced David’s work in any medium he has worked with. He started designing such characters at a young age. His primary focus is making that character come to life through expressing emotion and the appearance of movement. “Creating characters with emotion and movement is a skill I’m continuously seeking to master,” he said. “Viewers or buyers of my work will have different visceral responses to my designs as soon as they see them, whether happy, sad, delighted or scary.” He works with different mediums but currently finds himself working in steel, trying to find the character and dimension in sheet metal. Most sculptures are made up of over 20 pieces which he welds together in unique poses. The sculpture is then burnished to remove imperfections, primed and carefully painted to enhance the character. Viewers will see that his designs are playful, whimsical and light-hearted and perhaps even a little sinister. Dave says, “Welcome to my world!”
Brenda and Tony Thibodo, Sculptures by Design
Brenda & Tony Thibodo of Sculpture by Design, create their own concrete tables, fire tables, furniture, mirrors, light fixtures, statuary and many other concrete designs. They design, hand build, mold, carve, stamp, hand stain and paint all art pieces made of several different concrete design mixes based on the piece they are creating for the customer. They design and make many different concrete rubber stamps using real items such as different stones rock, bark, pre-Civil War wood and other textures of wood. Stone and rock designs are hand sculpted using a special concrete mix, then; hand carving each stone with various tools for shape and textures, some tools are made by hand to create different effects. After the concrete is dried the rock or stone is hand stained to create a realistic look.
Concrete table tops are each stained by hand using three to seven colors in spray bottles taking four to five days to create, making each top one of a kind design. Part of this process is how the stains react with the concrete or each other and part by the artist.
Concrete statues are poured by hand and after they are cured each statue or item is hand painted using small brushes or left natural depending on the piece, then sealed for protection.
Concrete table bases are built by hand using various items such as special foam, cardboard boxes or cylinders and old iron from the railroad that is over 100 years old. A concrete mixture with glass fiber, fiber mesh and additives is hand applied over the various substrate materials. Before the concrete hardens it must be stamped with the unique rubber molds that were created or hand sculpted with various sculpting tools. After drying different colors are applied by hand to create a realistic look. The leg molds are hand filled with a special concrete mix and pencil wire for additional strength.
Each concrete design is one of a kind, unique, artistic and hand built. Brenda and Tony believe in using concrete where your imagination is the only limitation, which leaves unlimited possibilities.
Doug LaBorde, DL Smithing
Doug LaBorde is a blacksmith that hand forges items out of steel or iron. He makes a wide variety of items like home fixtures, decorative and gardens and other tools for grilling and fire place pieces.
He uses a coal forge at his shop at home and also for demonstrating to heat the steel for forging on the anvil or other appropriate tools (vise, cone mandrel, swages, punches, drifts). Doug does electric welding on some pieces, forge welding for others. He tries to stay with the older methods of fabrication but there are places where electric welding is far more cost effective but it is still a hand process, just a little more modern. His demonstration smithy uses no electricity, just coal and hand power and he has made many tools he uses himself.