The latest sculpture from my Welding for Art class at TMCC.

This was an interesting project. The requirement in class was to make a sculpture that would be interesting to a blind person. I had a drawing of this sculpture that was a few years old but that drawing showed some Native American styled graphics over the entire vertical part of the sculpture and my intent was to etch that design onto the steel with a sand blaster. With the requirement for making this interesting to a blind person, I changed my plan and decided to cut out the graphics. I simplified them because I was unsure if I could accomplish the design I started with while suing a plasma cutter.

After I welded the two beaks along their back edge, I cut out the graphics. Once I saw it, I decided to stick with a rough cut shape and not file it smooth. The plasma cut edges added a rustic quality that fit with the planned patina.

I then welded inner plates to the beaks to make the cutouts recessed only the thickness of the material, 16 gauge. The beaks were then finished with the third side.

The large tube is not a solid pipe. I didn’t have a pipe available so I made one with 16ga sheet rolled to the right diameter. I rolled two sheets then added some material just at the ends of this “pipe” and welded it all together. The big pipe is therefore hollow with a 3/16-ish gap between the layers. This is why it is not round and became flattened when I welded the small beak in place. The inner pipe is actual solid pipe. If I did this again, I would find a piece of pipe. That would also change how I would weld the peaks to it because the thicker material would behave very differently.

The rust came from a spray on rust chemical. it’s not paint. The chemical just makes the steel rust quickly. I also sprayed on some gun blue chemicals which gave the color a weird dark look in places. A coat of wax was the finishing touch and keeps it from rusting further.