My artwork starts as a pile of scrap metal. I use whatever I can get ahold of, maybe its a steel countertop or an industrial paper towel holder from a commercial kitchen. Once I find my steel, I take it into the studio and use a plasma cutter to create each leaf and petal. In this image, you can see the slag left behind from the plasma cutter. The next step in the process is to remove the heat patina. A heat patina is the rainbow effect left on the surface of the metal from being exposed to extreme heat. To remove the heat patina, I soak the steel in vinegar. This is a safe process because it naturally removes oil and other surface defects from the metal without hurting the environment. Electrolysis, another process to remove defects and oil, creates noxious fumes and chemicals.
Once the metal is processed, it is ready to be welded. I weld the metal and shape to create the flowers. Next is to paint the metal with a patina. Patina is a pigment that is floating in alcohol. The alcohol evaporates into the air once it is applied to metal. This is important because if you use oil paint on metal, it would eventually rust underneath where the paint was applied. Oil paint, if applied thickly enough, can take years to dry. Once I have finished painting with patina, I apply three layers of a topcoat. Topcoat is a plastic that comes in a spray can. This plastic protects metal from the elements. Topcoat is used on vehicles to protect their painted surfaces. This is the process of making an online sustainable home products store.