There is something hot about the idea of owning a plasma torch. So I bought one! I didn't have much experience with steel, I had only tried a plasma torch once before and didn't really know how to weld. That first project wasn't all that special, I really just wanted to 'experience' it. For years I kept looking at torches and watching the prices drop and thinking, "Someday I will own one." That day finally came and then it sat in the used welding shop for 6 months before I had time to do anything with it. I have a friend who's a welder that showed me the basics and I watched a ton of YouTube videos on how to use a plasma torch and mig welder. Youtube is my friend for many things.
I had been seeing some amazing torch work on recycled things like shovels and wheelbarrows. Fancy lace designs and filigree by a couple of very talented artists. So the first thing that I grabbed was a spare shovel that I had in the tool shed. I designed a simple tree design with a swing, something with an organic shape that lends itself to a quick 'redesign'... just in-case! Setting out to teach myself how to use my new toys, I cut shovels until I ran out of them... a plasma torch is a little addictive!
Being out of material to cut up, I needed to find more... it became like a bad habit and I needed a fix. I started hitting yard sales, looking for anything metal that I could take a torch to. I found someone selling old handsaws, 14 for $2 each, it was like making the big score. That was just over a year ago and set me on an unexpected path, I was now a Metal Artist. Starting with 14 designs I quickly built up a catalog of over 70, becoming TheSawLady. Which I have to admit I thought was a really cheesy name for a website at first... after all, I was a serious Gallery Artist, I carve trains on pencils, sometimes elephants, I paint realistic underwater murals in public places and have artwork in museums... I am NOT a Folk Artist. Over the past year I have grown partial to that name though and am now shipping recycled metal artwork to France and the UK from my little town of 236 people in Chester, Nebraska. I am now an Internationally Known FOLK Artist!
The first year that I started cutting saws was a busy year for me as Christmas got closer. I was constantly running out of saws, then saw hunting, running out again, finding more. From November through Christmas, I cut over 150 saws and shovels nonstop. With my last saw being cut on Christmas Eve for a Christmas Morning pick up! It was so crazy that I almost missed Christmas myself... I now have an army of Saw Hunters, people stop by and leave them at my door or collect them and call me when they have 30 or so for me to pick up. I am ready as season 2 of TheSawLady begins! Thanks for your interest in my metal work, maybe someday we will create something cool together!
#1 I Added A Bit Of Humor With This Pheasant Hunting Scene By Having A Buck Standing Right Behind The Hunter And His Dog
#2 The Steampunk Lamplighter Fish (Eating Fish) Saw
Made from a variety of recycled metal parts and features an old tealight lamp. The eye was made by filling a broken jar bottom with broken beer bottle glass, then melting it in my kiln to 1500 degrees.
#3 Some Saws Are Shorter Than Others And Don't Work Well For The More Complicated Scenes. With The Short Ones, I Make Feathers And This Eagles Feather Is A Very Popular Commission
#4 A Quiet Pond Scene Using The Tines From A Green Leaf Rake And Vintage Square Nails For The Cat Tails
#5 Me (aka. Thesawlady) After A Successful Hunting Trip!
#6 Sometimes People Bring Me Or Ship To Me A 'family' Saw. One That Their Grandfather Owned
Along with photos of the family farm and free reign to create a family heirloom.
#7 I Was Commissioned To Make This Saw For The Amelia Earhart Museum In Kansas
Started with a classic photo of her, I got a little carried away with the layers and shaping of the different parts. How could I make a plane and not have the propellers spin?! So they do.
#8 This Is The First Shovel That I Ever Made. I Used Copper Chain To Hang The Tree Swing
#9 The Larger Two Man Saws Look Great Hanging Over The Fireplace, Like This Saw That Went To The Client's Mountain Cabin On Hummingbird Lane
#10 This Surprise Gift Of A Two Man Saw Was A Special Order For A Retired Up Employee
#11 This Bow Saw Made A Stop In My Stained Glass Studio After Leaving The Welding Shop
#12 This Is One Of My Earlier "experimental" Saws... And Really Hard To Cut By Hand
I polished everything then forced the fish to rust using household chemicals. I also played with the welder a bit to add texture to the water.
#13 I Also Cut Shovels. The Blue And Lavender Peddles On This Fog Light Flower Is Made From The Scrap Metal Of A Dumpster
#14 I Make A Few Things From Trowels, This Is A One Of Kind Though
After cutting the design I took it into my jewelry studio and plated just the fish with copper. There was a lot of trial and error with this one, but I am really happy with how it turned out!
#15 I Like Cutting Miter Saws, The Metal Is A Little Thicker And Cuts Smooth
They make for a great sign. The yellow metal here is brass and difficult to weld to steel.
#16 I Get A Lot Of Requests For Trains Of All Sorts, They Are My Most Popular Saw Designs, By Far
#17 This Shovel Was Inspired By A Recent Practice Burn By The Local Volunteer Fire Department, Of The House Across From My Welding Shop
I layered the scene and added a shelf in back to set tea candles on. Then I made a candle from an old grain bucket.
#18 I Like Playing With Fire In My Designs, It Adds Depth To The Artwork
#19 The Fishing Boat Is One Of My Original Designs From The First 14 That I Bought
I have made about 20 different variations of this scene... A man and his dog, a Grandpa and his grand-kids, two guys drinking beer, a man and his wife who doesn't like to fish, even a scene with the fishing line stuck in the tree.
#20 The Doyle's Cabin Saw Is A Great Example Of The Layered Saws That I Started Making
Also, this is a left-handed saw, I don't find many of those!