Flights of Fancy
  1. Metal rods of all shapes and lengths are stacked on a huge cart. The largest, used for building big models like the T Rex, are 2 1/2 inches around. The thinnest are only 3/32 of an inch. These rods are called stock.

    There are may ways of heating up and shaping the metal for a sculpture.

  2. Propane tanks fuel torches used to heat up metal.

  3. The T.I.G. Welder is like a mini furnace. It is also used to heat up metal.

  4. Hammers help pound metal into shape. They are soaked in water, so the wood handle will swell and hold firm under the heat.

  5. Anvils are also used to help bend metal. Hot metal is shaped around an anvil by hitting it with a hammer. The anvils are mounted on wooden logs to absorb the pressure.

  6. A Platen Table is another tool for bending metal. Pegs are placed into the holes in a desired shape, then metal rods are bent around them.

Safety is a really big concern when you are a sculptor working with metal. Some of the torches that Matthew uses are so bright that he has to wear a big mask called a welding hood to protect his eyes.


Heavy leather gloves are a must as well as a thick apron and a short leather jacket for protecting arms. Grinding metal is very loud, so the sculptors also wear ear plugs.

calligraphy by Juan C. Buines | illustrations by Alicia Marana Cox

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