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June 2013

One of the most notable discoveries of METAL's past year was that the majority of our design (or design + fabrication) work was in collaboration with architects and artists who had contacted us to encourage their projects into being.

Though METAL has a gallery, we are not located in a highly trafficked area and have never been able to depend on the proverbial "walk-in" traffic for assuring our cash flow. We circulate our goods via the World Wide Web, but we have come to find that our design and our fabrication skills are what keep us burning the midnight oil. Why am I bothering telling you this? I am bothering because it astounds me to look back, analyze the data, and note that we did more work for artists and architects than say builders, home owners or hospitality venues in 2012.

Don't get me wrong, we get commercial and residential jobs galore but artists and architects proved last year's mainstay and I am fabulously grateful. I am grateful and striving for ways to invite more artists, nationally and internationally, and more architects and, of course, more clients generally. That's a principal objective of mine as an owner of METAL, to keep the work arriving (otherwise our "distinguished design and fabrication" is but reverie) and to assure our liquidity along with our notable designs.

Did you know, for instance, that an artist in Senegal, if s/he wished to have their metal work appear in the United States of America could contact METAL and we could fabricate it for sale here? Likewise, an artist in Paris, who wished to take advantage of our design prowess, could engage us for computer generation and problem solving of his/her latest vision but have it fabricated in his/her own 200-year-old Paris atelier (bear with my fantasy life, please). The possibilities are, as I always like to believe (and a partial reason for naming my small press with Barbara Brown, Infinite Possibilities) infinite.

We all make choices, goodness knows how many in a day, but it takes time for those choices to surface in the form of palpable results. Sometimes it is years before we know that a path we took was the right one. Sometimes, it is providence, in concert with intention, that ultimately "provides".

Welcome- artists, architects, hospitality networks and homeowners, machinists and metal enthusiasts, commercial and business concerns, and thank you for your confidence in us and for your patronage. You keep us humming along.

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April 2013

Making things, collaborating, "hatching a plan" and seeing the plan come into being; these are "a few of my favorite things". Lately, there have been many objects leaping from a sketchbook onto a computer program and into manifestation. Sometimes the visuals speak best so I am making this entry about images. What follows are METAL's line of furnishings now in existence. We can alter dimensions, we can create a custom surface that is particular to a corporate or residential environment, we can tweak a design for a commercial setting; the possibilities are myriad.

Behold what METAL has wrought:

Purlin


Mortise and Tenon


Black on Black


Cache


Floating Paper


Equipoise


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On the Road with Johnny and Claude

The Freightliner, the Sprinter, The Red Head, as I prefer to call her, was finished and we were going to be loading the back for her first long distance haul in her newly renovated condition. John had spent the past year slowly and methodically bringing her from near salvage-yard oblivion to showroom stature.

From a flat bleached-Florida-white to a gleaming silver, with a rusty red headliner and matching rust-colored leather seats she is but a memory of her former abused self. Having a new engine (and many other replacements), fabricated bumpers, a winch, cameras, trailer hitch and aluminum paneling in her cargo area (to list but a few of her updates). The girl's got game.

We left Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A., at almost 6 pm on a Saturday night. With John at the helm and Rosie and myself in the cab we were determined to drive all night and arrive in Tucumcari, NM 24 hours later.

Running a business and fostering the creative mind takes a massive amount of energy and concentration. Replenishing ourselves can easily take a backseat to simply "making things work". This was going to be a working odyssey (this ten day loop) but it was also plotted as a favorable time to cast a glance at what we have accomplished and to look ahead at where we are bound as METAL would, come 15 April 2013, celebrate two years since opening to the public.

The iron pour that we attend is responsible for John and I having met. The people we associate with there are of inspiration and affection. The rituals of the pour are, in no small part, the rituals of creative and collaborative people in search of their golden fleece.

Wind was the constant on this adventure. If we had only had a sail atop the Red Head; Even returning through Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa (we expect a blow when on the high plains desert) and beyond, there was a constant howl and vehicles were losing rooftop pods and belongings at a rate I had never witnessed.

We spent the last night of our journey in Lincoln, NE where I could tour his boyhood sites, see the work that he had done before our association, much in ceramics, and have impressed upon me the influences on him. He warmed up the SAAB that he and his father had refurbished and we took a tour of downtown, complete with a detour that I have been sworn to hold dear and not reveal.

An odyssey, a renewal, an energizing- just like the Red Head, Johnny and Claude were replenished and the creative juju in our collaboration restored and confirmed.

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