Thursday, 12 January 2012

Lump sentiMETAL moment

with Chris

Over the last few weeks all but one of the Lump crew have shared a sentiMETAL moment with us about where their relationship with metal began. I thought it fitting to leave this one until last since without this person, Lump simply would not exist. This week Chris, the original founder of Lump shares with us his story drawing our sentiMETAL series to an end, for now.

"It's a little hard to pin point exactly when I picked up metal work for the very first time. My Pa was a keen Blacksmith and had a garage full of tools which as a kid I was not allowed to touch. Later as an adult I inherited a lot of those tools, his drill press and drawer full of drill bits, also his anvils, chisels and other basic hand tools. My Dad also had a garage full of tools and still does, but he always let me tinker and make things whenever I wanted. I did metal work at High School as well, and this was where I learnt how to stick weld (manual arc welding using electric current and electrodes) and cut and drill properly. In that class I experimented with joining different types of metal and I was amazed at how different they all are. I remember trying to weld cast iron and mild steel for the first time. It didn't stick. Later I figured out that pre heating the metal and cooling it slowly will reduce cracking and different filler rods that are softer and more pliable will build a stronger bond. In my last years of High School I made a few large scale sculptures using found objects made from barbed wire, corrugated iron, sheet metal and copper. And I also formed functional objects like large garden bowls from corrugated iron. But It wasn't until I had my first studio next door to a stainless steel kitchen fabrication company that I really began to nut out the technicalities of welding with the help of some of the guys that worked there. What was my very first serious welding lesson? Never weld while only wearing a singlet. I started Lump with my Pa's old drill press and drawer full of bits. Although that old drill press has now had its day, it's still in the studio and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to use it."

Our Chris, images courtesy of Little Red Photography

Lump Sculpture Studio

Corten Steel Sculpture

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