Steel Carving Revisited


Although I have been using this technique of freehand cutting and carving steel for a number of years many people still jump to inaccurate conclusions regarding how the sculptural pieces are produced. For some reason, the idea of using a plasma cutter to "paint" in steel is so unusual that some people cannot wrap their heads around it.

I have had people assume that the work was the result of laser templates, engraving tools, or some sort of stamping technique. In fact, I do not use templates; I do not sketch or draw the pieces out ahead of time. I use the plasma cutter much as other artists would use a brush or pen or a palette knife. I achieve the shading, shine, and coloration on the steel with grinders, sanders, wire brushes, plasma torch, etc..

I’ve described the technique in more detail elsewhere, but simply put, I use the extreme heat of the torch to draw on the steel, to carve the steel, to achieve color effects in the material that no one else pursues. (There may be someone, somewhere, who is employing the plasma cutter in a similar way, but I have never seen such work.)

There are those who find the uniqueness of the work to be a little disorienting, but the only truly relevant question is whether, or not, the work reaches out and touches you. If it does, then you don’t need to understand the production techniques any more thoroughly than you need to understand the makeup of the pigments used in painting on canvas, although the understanding may enhance your appreciation. Please Just enjoy the tactile nature of the work.

I always enjoy answering questions people pose about how my work is produced. You can submit questions on this site on this site using CONTACT US>>. I may take a few days to see your questions because I get absorbed in my work, but I will answer any questions you have regarding it.

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ABOUT US

Welcome to Whim of Iron, featuring Barbara McDonald's one-of-a-kind steel wall sculptures. 

We hope you enjoy Barbara's unique artwork and will contact us with any questions.

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phone. 1-760-439-0409

mail. 825 College Blvd., s/102-526, Oceanside, CA

email. bgmcdonald@cox.net

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