I'm a part of the Iron Monkeys, a metalworking collective based in Seattle.
We build large scale art installations that are (usually) on fire.
You can find our larger-than-life sculptures at Burning Man.
WELD & FORGE
Metal work can be extremely rewarding. There's something to be said about working with your bare hands and using force to shape, bend, weld and create something tangible. In today's digital era, I find myself mostly building visual experiences. Rarely do I get the opportunity to shape something tactile, something that other humans can touch, feel, climb, and contextualize in physical space.
Quality control and polish is another big component of our metal work. Often we're building a series of pieces or decorative ornaments. There's no copy and paste, there's just practice. I love the "wax on, wax off" repetition of honing in a craft and refining a skill. Above are flowers that will be a part of our 2018 sculpture OVER | GROWN.
Flight of Illumination
The Iron Monkeys' 2017 installation, Flight of Illumination, was an image of a jar freeing and releasing hundreds of dragonflies. It is the fourth and final chapter in the Guardian of Dawn series, wherein the Acolytes release their light back into the world. The artwork's centerpiece is a giant flaming dragonfly perched 16 ft in the air on top of metal reeds. Fire effects fill the body and wings of this magnificent creature. The sculpture serves as a warm meet up spot, group pitstop, and/or attraction for attendees to marvel in -- like a moth to a flame.
As cliche as it is, this community of artists, makers, radical expressionists, and humans... has truly changed my life.