At the end of this project I know I can stand back and say that not one piece was made by a machine. No computer designed parts, cut out and pieced together. No big machine rolling the bat. Every piece was made by hand. Mine or Mark's none the less, but made by hand. Hand forged. Rain, sleet or snow. Hot or cold. Like 27 degrees cold. But who's counting. All at the Rozelle Warehouse.
That said, I also know you can never have too many resources. So, we headed on down to President's Island to meet Lonnie, the owner of Phoenix Manufacturing.
When we walked in Lonnie came up and said, "Mark the artist! Of course I remember you! Been a long time. How in the hell are you?" I got a big laugh out of it. Particularly because I already know a "Gary the artist". It's kind of funny when you're an artist how many times you'll be referred to as "the artist".
("Hey, 'Mark the artist', tell me about ART Farm." -on going inside joke that will most likely be revealed at a later date as much as it comes up)
Introductions were made and stories were shared and then Mark and I headed out to tour the facilities. Immediately I see the new laser cutting machine that Lonnie was bragging about. If you look closely in the next photo you'll see that what looks like a chandelier is actually a hydraulic arm with suction cups on it that is capable of picking up large sheets of metal and moving them from point A to point B.
Sheets large enough and heavy enough that would take several men and man hours to maneuver from job to job. Now it's done in a matter of minutes. If that. Likely a topic that Mark and I would get on and dissect in great detail and passion; that of how machines have replaced human hands and computers are robbing us of our connection to nature and those things around us.
Okay, okay .....back to the field trip. Some of these pictures are blurry because they are taking with my cell phone, pretty much on the run trying to keep up with these two guys.
Another negative drop sheet again. This time a flower pattern.
Giant drill bits and a new take on a ceiling fan. That would be of the hanging from the ceiling variety.
Yep, we're in a machine shop.
Lonnie's office and another "Big Fish" story. Though this one was a hand made fish a friend had given him.
The whole visit was intriging. All of the heavy duty machines really gave me some insight on how things are manufactured large scale and the scope of what can be done. And the, what to some would seem offensive and chauvinistic, atmosphere just affirmed to the feminist in me that I'm in a place in my life now that in 'kind' environments, I prefer to accept differences and pass on judgement. Particularly since he passed on judging me; a woman in a man's world. Lonnie was great. Really liked him.
When we left, Lonnie gave Mark a calendar. Here we have left the building and Mark is trying to look the part.
He threw the calendar away when we got back to the studio. Sorry Lonnie. He looks like a heavy metal tough guy but he's really just a teddy bear. "Mark the teddy bear".