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October 2013

Enjoying one another’s fellowship, enriching one another’s lives, encouraging each other’s growth, those are the things I look for in my friendships, associations, partnerships and collaborations.

As I sit, on this damp, lovely grey, autumn Saturday, in my place of work, my place of vocation more accurately, I know fulfillment in all that I do. As I revel in the changing and falling leaves, it is, at this passage in my life, easy to see my course: always aiming for fulfillment, from that which emerges from peace and happiness and gratitude for what my life, my living, holds.

Even my neighbor, Lisa (Pot & Box: potandbox.com) reminds me of the fulfillment that arises from this so-called life of supposed coincidence and kismet. She bounds in full of enthusiasm for, and enjoyment in, what her associate has created for a wedding bouquet. We marvel at our businesses and our nearness.

I say, “If the synergy ain’t there then get to a there that’s got it,” (or as Fred says, “Remove the negative”)! Liberate yourself from what is gloomy and discern for yourself that which has an inspiring and radiant energy. The “good vibrations” of the Age of Aquarius are no joke. When the place or the person registers as pleasing, there is greater health, success and well-being. Fulfillment and satisfaction, that is my pillar; that’s what I am pondering today… as the leaves fall and the sky darkens and the free-spirit rises.

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September 2013

Often, when I introduce our business, I receive, “So you make art?” That is a Pandora’s box of a question if ever there was one (and yes, we make art but we also make a multitude of forged, fabricated and cast goods that are more utilitarian by name). Dependent on the tone and the perspective of the inquisitor I have a number of responses. When I receive a sneer, or a sentence that insinuates that art is somehow superfluous, I wonder about just when art started to become the locus of so much abuse.

As long as there have been humans there has been an artful compulsion. We have a need to express and to improve upon the objects representing the expression. Art, the imaginative, is, the impetus for most of our mortal undertakings. We had fire, we then had a source of warmth, a gathering place to whittle beside with our kinfolk. We needed handles on our knives and decorations on the handles. Even quantum physics relies on a leap of imagination preceding substantiation. It pleases us to decorate and adorn; it reduces the harshness of life. Imagination is not an “other”; it is essential. Music, poetry, literature, fine arts, etc., are key to our balanced and full development. Nature, herself, is beautiful and inspirational and beautiful objects are not expendable nor are they nonessential. What is it about art, that strikes people as unworthy of our time and resources? How does disparaging the beautifully made or the consciously rendered over the expediently and carelessly produced serve us currently? Without pulchritude and creativity, life for me would be impoverished and constricting.

The so-called expense of the arts is far less than the costs of football, baseball, basketball, or the majority of entertainments and distractions. Most arts don’t come close to utilizing the monies involved with producing a blockbuster film or a luxury automobile yet they inspire, give outlet to and encourage innovation, expansive thinking and demonstration of the human psyche.

Questions on the road to an answer.

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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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