By Metal Sculptor R.A. Moore
I have always had the heart of an Artist within me, in some form or another. I started drawing cool scenes from Stan Lee’s famous Spiderman comics at 7 years old. Later, in my teens, I found refuge and escapism from a violent and abusive step-father in the epic fantasy paintings of Artist Frank Frazetta. I guess over the years, I’ve dabbled in several forms of Art; trying to find my outlet.
Coming into my last year of Foster Care, I got a job in a local machine fabrication shop sweeping floors and general assistant. I had already played around with Stick Welding and found I had a knack for controlling and manipulating a molten puddle of steel. I think I was amused to finally find something that I had total control of…and it was AWESOME. I guess you could say, I created my first metal sculptures during my lunch breaks at various fabrication shops over the years using materials from the scrap bins. I would create, then someone would see it and think it was cool, and I would just give it to them.
Then after 20 plus years of building high-tech, high-dollar, equipment, as well as installations for companies such as Tyson Foods and International Beef and Pork plants across the U.S., I stepped away realising that I was missing a lot of time with my children.
The one area of metal work I had never dabbled in was old fashioned Blacksmith processes. I built a homemade forge and started to create some pre-1900 styles of hand-hammered furniture pieces and loved the simplistic and low-tech processes.
That’s how I discovered my style. I faded away from the literal furniture pieces and dived headfirst into my zone with the first piece titled, “Apocalypse Artist”.
It is my most recognised piece and is still in my possession. My family refuse to let me sell it.
Now, I create using rusted, wasted and discarded machine and metal parts that “rest in peace,” bringing a newfound awareness in dark beauty for the beholder.
I also create the occasional fun and whimsical pieces inspired by my love of Sci-fi, Jules Verne and Steampunk as can be seen in pieces like, “Eternal Voyage”, “Starfleet Gen.1”, “Marauder” and the lighted functional piece, “Raedison”.
I have combined my work with a long-time friend and fantastic Artist in his own right, Photographer Jason Bohannon. His skill has been able to capture the truest essence of my work, short of seeing it in person.
Most of my creations are my way of showing the downtrodden, abused and misunderstood that there IS someone else that understands and has possibly walked the same hard road. Hopefully, the uniqueness and beauty demonstrates the epiphany that, “Imperfection IS perfection.”
I started working with metal about a year ago and I had almost no experience with welding beforehand. However with every new piece I’m learning, and even though my tools are pretty basic I’m striving to get to my masterpiece.
I always loved doing something in my dad’s garage, repairing tools or taking them apart, working with wood and so on. And then one day I saw a bike made out of nuts and bolts and said to myself- ‘’I can do that’’, and it continued from there.
I don’t feel that I get inspiration, I just go to garage with a plan to do something with various types and pieces of metal and then it transforms into something completely different from what I had in mind.
I’m most proud of my three sea horses made out of chains, bicycle parts, blades and bolts and I hope to start making bigger and more detailed pieces in the future.
You can see more of Niko’s work on his Facebook page, or you can email him at email@example.com
This week’s guest blog comes from David Vernede, 32, France.
I have worked at a factory constructing parts for planes for 4 years. I’m surrounded by steel every day, and around two years ago, decided I would start using metal to create sculptures in my spare time.
I’ve always been interested in art, particularly tattoo art. I used to design skull tattoos, and that has passed over into my metal work, so it’s a mix of both worlds really.
I‘m very passionate about recycling, and because of that, most of my pieces are created using scrap and waste metal – often from cars and motorcycles. Anything I can find that can be welded, I’ll try to use.
There’s no better feeling than finding a piece of scrap metal going to waste, and then seeing the same piece of metal used on a finished sculpture.
One of the pieces I’m most proud of is a sculpture of life-sized Gorilla. It took me around 350 hours to complete in total, with the skull alone taking around 25 hours. However, it was actually much longer as it took me a year to find all the parts, and I also had other pieces I was working on at the same time.
If you’d like to see more of David’s amazing work, please visit D. Vernede Concept on Facebook.
If you’re interested in being a Guest Blogger for The Metal Store feel free to get in touch with us, we’d love to showcase your work!