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Cal Lane's steel lace Answered

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The photo of this cut-steel lacework make me want to run out to the shop, grab the torch & some scrap steel, and start carving. Cal Lane cuts shovels into lace, oil drums into tapestry, and I-beams into filigreed sculpture with incredible delicacy.

From the New York Times article:
"The work is about the contrasts between the industrial and the fanciful, the opaque and the transparent. Ms. Lane described herself as "a person who always has opposites in my head."

She started her adult life as a hairdresser (her mother owned a salon in Victoria), but she said she was a tomboy and "welding seemed to fit me better." The mix of feminine and masculine vocations (teasing hair and welding steel), she said, is encapsulated in her work."

Check out more of Lane's work here and here. Amazing.

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reno_dakota (author)2008-02-05

I've only done a little bit of torch-cutting, and the level of detail you're able to get amazes me; the shaky lines and hand-cutting imperfections make it that much more impressive. And it fits; handmade lace isn't perfectly symmetric or even, either. Could you post a link up to the documentary, when it's available?

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jtobako (author)2008-01-29

...but will it still dig taters? I prefer dirty-hands art to computer controlled stenciling.

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reno_dakota (author)jtobako2008-01-29

Part of what impresses me is that (so far as I can tell) she does at least some of this by hand.

From her artist statement:
With this notion of desirable oppositions I created the structure “fabricate”. In this Structure I hand cut lace trimming patterns into 9 I-beams, then constructed a tower, simultaneously macho, and of delicate finery.

Now I want to ask whether she uses a CNC for any of the rest...

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Goodhart (author)reno_dakota2008-01-29

The "pattern" is made of what material? I mean, this is very close to what some call scherenschnitt only in metal.

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jtobako (author)Goodhart2008-01-30

When I first saw this on Make, the shovels all looked the same. Looking more closely, they are different. I had just assumed that I had read that it was CNC-but I can't find that reference now. If it's all done by hand, I love the amount of work that went into it. If it was someone playing with a CNC, I don't care about it : ) I guess that makes me some kind of snob : P

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Goodhart (author)jtobako2008-01-30

I would be curious as to how that kind of detail would be cut into metal of that thickness by hand. Dirt shovels are not lightweight aluminum or anything.

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jtobako (author)Goodhart2008-01-30

Any of the cutting torches would do that. I think the article specified plasma torch.

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Goodhart (author)jtobako2008-01-30

Some of those cuts looked pretty fine.....ah well, I guess I would like to see them actually do it :-)

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reno_dakota (author)Goodhart2008-02-02

I asked her about her technique, and she says she does it all by hand. She sketches out the design with soapstone or paint, then hand-cuts it with a plasma cutter or oxy-acetylene torch. Now I just need to convince her to post up some photos or video. :)

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Goodhart (author)reno_dakota2008-02-02

oh yes, even a short video would be great. That fascinates me.

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reno_dakota (author)jtobako2008-02-02

I asked her about her technique, and she says she does it all by hand. She sketches out the design with soapstone or paint, then hand-cuts it with a plasma cutter or oxy-acetylene torch. Yep, I'm still amazed. :)

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-01-29