Sunday, August 16, 2015

Blog Entry #5

August 15, 1015

It has been waaaaaaay too long since my last blog entry. Bad Bob! I once heard someone say “life is something that flies by while we are busy living it!” I suspect we can all relate to that. When was the last time you were bored?

Over the past ten years, the economy where I live has bobbed up and down, between bad and worse. Although this has been life changing for many people, including myself, there has also been a positive side to it (for me). On the positive side, this time of slow (or no) work, has given me time to focus on forged iron cemetery monuments. These grave markers (some of which are on my web-page) are designed the way I want them to be. Where am I going with this?

When designing architectural ironwork, the projects are site-specific. Because they are site-specific, they often need to look a certain way. A certain way? Yes. The homeowner wants a certain look. The architecture, which is the mother-art-form, dictates a certain look, etc. I am not complaining. What designing commissioned work has taught me, is how to be versatile. If it were not for the custom look requirements, I would probably find a comfortable rut and plant myself in it. Learning to be flexible and versatile is good.

When creatively stuck while trying to design something that was site specific and hard, I would remind myself of what a great artist once told me. She said “there is no such thing as stale art, only stale artists.” She went on to say, “unless you want to be a stale artist, step up to the plate and create some fresh art.” That pretty-well smothered any whining on my part!!

So, for better or worse, I am really proud of the cemetery memorials and how they look. The concepts be metal over stone as illustrated, or the decorative forged metal can be forged bronze, recessed into carved cavities in granite.

Getting back to the economy. The building trades are now, after 10 years, on the upswing where I live. I live in a small rural town on an arterial route. If you go past my blue collar neighborhood (which I love) and follow the arterial route about 2 miles up onto the river bluffs with panoramic views, you will find yourself in a different economic world.

Last summer more cement trucks went past my house then in the previous 10 or so years combined. A lot of new construction was going on. Despite my efforts, I was not a part of those construction projects.

This year is a horse of a different color. Four huge jobs have been my focus this spring and summer. Three of these jobs have fallen through but number four is looking very strong. When looking back at the three that fell through, as much as I would like to blame circumstances or people, the truth is, selling these jobs is highly competitive and I need to freshen up my sales presentation. When selling, you need to be totally on your “A” game. It is too bad I/we lost these sales because the homeowners of the 3 projects that fell through, are now going to receive products of a lessor quality then I/we would have given them ----- by a long shot. But they are getting great prices!

Always demand to see samples when purchasing upscale ironwork.  There is no free lunch.  

Well anyway, I am looking forward to telling you about job #4. This will be a large fence, about 7 feet tall and about 40 feet long. The fence will have 3 tall brick columns dividing the ironwork into four sections. Now think about this ----

The fence will be kinetic. Kinetic? Yes, it will be an Art-Fence. The fence will be classical 18th century European in appearance. The fence will have 4 distinctive elements that connect the identity of the fence with the homeowners lifestyles. Now here comes the fun part. The 4 distinctive elements will move, being driven by 4 electric motors.

The movement of these focal points will be so slow, that you will not be able to see the movement, like watching the hour hands on 4 clocks. If a viewer looks at the fence and has an eye for what it looks like, and then looks back at the fence 15 minutes later, if the viewer is paying attention, he/she will ask themselves, wait, I thought the fence looked like ------

This is going to be completely original and I am really looking forward to building it.

Now I just need the green light from the client -----

So far, so good -----

The joy is in the journey!

I hope you are well.