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The personality of each piece of furniture created, begins with the steel. The color, texture and rigidity vary from mill to mill. So with each order placed, although the dimensions of the iron remain the same, the characteristics vary greatly. The "creator" chooses not to see this as a negative, letting the steel dictate how it is going to perform and then pushing it to those limits. The Iron comes in 20 foot “sticks” that are cut down to the appropriate lengths. A tape measure is used to adhere to the laws of ergonomics, like the seat height on a chair, but does not play a role in the design. The "creator" prefers to “eyeball” each cut as the project begins to take shape. This process ensures that each piece of functional art develops not by the dictation of measurements, but by the flow of inspiration and imagination. Each bend, whether subtle or dramatic, is formed using only a simple vise and an assortment of "cheater bars". From there, the construction of the project relies greatly on the welds. With more than fifteen years of experience in the welding field, great pride is taken in both the look and the strength of each weld no matter how small. Using the welding electrode in much the same way a potter uses clay, several welds are layered one on top of the other when connecting the pieces and forming the structure. A grinder is used to achieve a seamless transition from one curve to the next. Once the construction is completed, the entire project is brushed down with a cup brush attached to a grinder. Spinning at a rate of 10,000 rpm, it removes much of the scale and slag from the welds and gives the item a more uniformed appearance. A grinder with an abrasive paper disk attached to a rubber backing pad is then used to achieve the burnished look that is becoming a trademark of there work. Most clients prefer the look of the iron in its raw form to any other color under the rainbow, but protecting that look has proved to be a challenge. A couple of options that work very well include a clear epoxy enamel, applied in several coats to preserve the iron and prevent rust. The enamel is sufficient protection for indoor conditions, but for an outdoor application, the piece of furniture is put through a "powder coating" process. Powder coating uses extreme heat to bake the finish on the metal and give it much more durable protection. Once the piece has been painted, fabric, tile, wood or glass is added to finish the piece. It is then signed, dated and titled. As you navigate through this collection, please keep in mind that each design you view was born not from a student of the arts, but rather a student of life and a simple welder with an overactive imagination. Each design develops at the workbench in real time, not on a drawing board. This process allows each piece of functional art to grow on its own and not be restricted by standards set in place before the saw even touches the metal. Hopefully, the end result will be a functional part of our day-to-day lives that looks like something from the other side of the looking glass.