Mid Century Starburst Key Holder

mid century key holder

Mid Century Retro-style

If your decor needs a retro 1970’s style addition, then look no further than this mid century starburst key holder.  It was hand braze welded with an oxygen acetylene torch and is largely made up of masonry square cut nails.  The filler metal used was bare bronze brazing alloy.  A paste flux was used to prevent oxidation during heating.

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Brazed Masonry Nail Starburst

The second image captures a more closeup perspective of the functional art.  You will notice how the shiny bronze joints set themselves as quite a contrast to the gray steel near them.  Although this key holder may be considerably larger than my other key holders, I am quite pleased with this creation and I feel it is still quite comfortable to fit in any home or office.

Brazed Cut Nail Sculpture

Art from Square Cut Nails

 

During the 1950’s and 1960’s was the modern art era now affectionately referred to as midcentury. Becuase of the rise of technology and the excitement surrounding the space race. This gave rise to a more contemporrary art style with hard lines and geometric shapes. And with that movement we have art made from cut nails, or more commonly called, masonry nails. The wedge shape of these nails allows them to be welded
into countless arrangments. The most striking pieces are ones made by braze welding with a bronze brazing rod. This allows the natural contrast of the two metals steel and bronze to shine create a mood.
 

Adding Various Accents

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Creating dimensional wall sculptures with cut nails does produce an eye catching work of art.  But then again, what could possibly be wrong with a little of embelishment.  Take for instance this Eames Era wall hanging.  It features some verticle accents made from braze welding RG45 rod together.  Also, There are three strategically placed hemispheric accents that are actually fence pipe weld termination ends.  They are painted in three different colored metallic paints to draw in the focus on the piece.

A seven frame sculpture

7 frames When I made this, I wanted to create something different than I had before. So I made these frames with a nail going diagonally through them. I also included 3 semipheracle pipe ends as accents.

Creating work of smaller modules

3 stars This is where I wanted to create a set of smaller units. This way ideas that come from smaller pieces can be considered. These 3 stars have an ancient appeal to them for sure. I hand brazed each one and they can be arrange anyway you wish. This gives flexibility for people with a discerning eye for efficient use of space. The art is available at this Etsy listing. Just click and see more details

Cut Nail Sculpture with multicolored accents

Multicolored accents on steel nail sculpture
 
I found it was time to make a bigger braze welded sculpture. To enhance this sculpture I chose steel accents painted in brilliant multicolored metallic colors.  These where airbrushed over the primed geometric accents.  These, along with the brazed nail support, where sealed with a gloss lacquer finish to enhance the metallic finishes.  This sculpture is available in my Etsy shop.
 
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When I made this sculpture, I attached mounting hooks so it could be wall mounted either horizontally or vertically to increase versatility.  Mounting this vertically will get you the most decorative impact when horizontal space on a wall may be limited or if you need to change the perspective in your decor.
 
 
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Near Perfect Circle Without Plasma Cutter!
 
All these accents were meticulously HAND CUT with an angle grinder.  No plasma cutter or water jet was used!  The circle above looks perfect but it is not.  I was designed with a $2 compass, a Sharpie and was cut manually from 16 gauge steel sheet.  The lines were maintained and after cutting as close as possible to the lines without removing them, the shape edges where grinded to the lines. 
 
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Controlled Spraying Creates Interesting Effects
 
The metallic paints where applied with a single stage airbrush.  Two or more colors were sprayed on the accents to give interesting shading and contrast effects. Take note that the single stage airbrush lacks the precision and the finesse of a two stage aribrush with a trigger assembly.

Photos Uploaded to My Facebook Page

 

 

This is one of the 15 photos I just posted on my facebook page.  It is a work I recently did by cutting the steel shapes by hand and braze welding them to a geometric sculpture made of masonry square cut nails.

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This piece is what inspired a commision project I am currently working on with a customer.    Of course, the customer only wanted a sculpture with nails only.  All is not lost though, this sculpture was an experimentation on applying more than one color with an airbrush.  Some pretty shading and color effects can be created even with the most basic spray gun.  The possibilites are limited only by your imagination.

Brass covered nail project part 2

 

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Project coming to form

The nail project is gaining momentum an now I have a representation of the larger finished peace.  There a few interesting design elements here.  There is a elongated rectangular form that strangly resembles a picket fence.  There is a different square and reactanguler pattern made by joining nail heads to the side of a perpendicular nail.  Then there are the fork tine design which really draw attention to the horizontal plane of the art work.  I am conetmplating a crown of verticle forks to really offset the piece.

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Getting the brass to lay down smooth takes some practice.  You must not overheat the nails as this will cause the zinc in the brass to boil away and also will cause extensive oxidation to the nails as well.