Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Robot Travels

Once upon a time there was a tiny robot. He wasn't the strongest robot or the fastest, just a little guy that liked to travel.
So, he went on a trip.
 He went to a gallery and saw some hungry frogs.
He rode on the back of a flying pig!
He took in some sights in Newnan on the back of a horse.
He met a very nice girl! They high fived each other!

 She showed him a palm tree.

 They stopped for some water.
She got the water from some kids.

 And finally the robot was home! And he was very happy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dreaming of Alabama, driving on a dirt road, having a picnic

I dream of 1 day being away in a place, far, far, well not so far away, just across the river and in a different time, ok, just a hour earlier. 1 day, one day I dream of a far better life. I hope and dream. I see rusted cars and trucks, empty bath tubs, pine trees, and chickens. I pass slowly by the house that was once a home, a family gone but not forgotten by the house, it's lonely. 

I, on the other hand am not. I dream of tomorrow, I dream of Alabama. I dream of a new tomorrow.
And gardens to come, and gardens to come!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Summer and the Flying Menagerie

Bot Dog
Summer, cicada, dragonflies, crows, yellow jackets, and butterflies, they come and they hang out with me. The crows I think are laughing at my jokes, or maybe just the comedy of me stumbling around extension cords and metal piled up here, there, and everywhere.

The cicadas come and visit me in my studio at night, landing on my arm. Why? Then 1 lands on my table. I don't want to burn the small noisy creature, I move it outside, it flies back into the studio. Again I move it outside, this time it stays. :-)

The butterflies come out, flitter and flutter around me while I weed the garden stopping occasionally to alight on a flower. I remember one of the first big words my daughter said clearly, butterfly. She's fascinated by them, so am I. I will always have that connection to butterflies.

The crows, walking around the grass looking for something to eat, they watch me, they are making sure that I stay on the right path and don't look back at the failures. Forward and positively they are keeping me focused on what's ahead.

Ahh, the yellow jackets, I do not like you. Twice this summer I've been defeated by stumbling onto your home. So, so sorry. But land on my lip and I will defeat you.

The dragonflies come around and visit me at my studio, they make me happy! The way that they fly is incredible! I'm jealous of that ability. Yesterday they came to visit me while I was at a friends pool. She must not have seen them. She seemed sad. If she saw them I think, maybe, just maybe that might have made her day. Maybe tomorrow.

We did see the clouds, heavy and light gray in the sky. Why did they have a dark outline? Much like a child's drawing that outlines everything in black, it was not the way one usually sees clouds.

I've been working a lot in the studio, that is good!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Random thoughts on a cloudy day with a beautiful Sunset
So, I've been thinking about pink a lot lately. Maybe because of all the pigs that I've been making. The one above got smashed with a few holes in it. Pink, I remember when I lived in the lakewood neighborhood in the city of Atlanta, my neighbor across the street who was 85 at the time would mow her lawn with her pink sweat shirt, sweat pants, and a large pink bow in her hair, she and her husband had lived there since 1955. I used to change light bulbs for her because she didn't like to climb the ladder, one day she said, "Come see my kitchen I had it painted!" Oh, yes she did, pepto bismal pink or about the shade of the pig above. Wow it was a sensory gut punch to your eyes! She loved it and she loved pink!

At my last house neighbors would ask me were I lived and I would tell them the purple house, followed by, "Next to the pink house!?" Yes, was my response, it was a brighter pink but they toned it down a bit. The ladies in the pink house were awesome neighbors, but they moved and so did I. They had painted a few rooms in the house pink also. Once I asked if the welding and metal work that I did in the backyard bothered them and my neighbor said "My house is pink, I don't have room to complain." Awesome! We got along well.

And finally tonight I went back to the Sunset Mustang Ranch Studio to finish up some pigs. Through the gray clouds an arc of pink fluffy clouds broke through! I get these amazing sunsets at my studio space, strange looking out at a transmission shop and a bunch of cars parked around there that there is almost always a glorious sunset from the courtyard next to the dirt track mustang by my studio.
Some of the pig near the studio

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blue Chairs in a Grey World

I don't know
I wear my heart upon my sleeve, my emotions out for all to see, it's a big deal! I take it personally when you destroy me. I want to stop the pain right now, it's a big deal! I felt so close to you somehow, but it's all over right now. One day I'll move on and it'll be a big deal, I hope til then I won't fall down. 

Sometimes things go really well. Sometimes despite your every feeling that you know things are going to work out, they don't. It's not your fault, it just feels like it. I thought we would be together, now I feel used, thrown out, and my emotions dismissed and it feels irrelevant to me somehow. 

I hope that tomorrow I feel better, some way, some how, some time.

Flying pigs and 1 non flying pig

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Not much lately

A church in Carrollton, GA taken at twilight. Not much going on with me, it's summer, it's cooled off and looks like June isn't going to be as hot as May was, that's a relief. I've got a lot of projects going in my studio but I've been spending a lot of time with family lately so not many pictures to post. 
I took photos of my nephew at this church before his prom, there was a group of kids and a bigger group of parents! 
1966 Ford Galaxie Hubcap Clock

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A little about Today

Today has been another frustrating day. My car is still in the shop, undiagnosed. I do have access to another car but hate to ask to use it. I am a burden on my parents. I have been unable to find any steady employment. Why? I'm not really sure. College degree? Check, Georgia Tech. Experience? Check, lots of different experience. Willingness to do almost anything? Check.

I was hoping to get a job with an organization that I have been volunteering with for over a year now. There is a position that is open, I'm qualified, have done the work while volunteering, and want and need the job. I have been recommended by current employees of said organization. What have I done for this organization as a volunteer? Good question. I've repaired several pieces of metal furniture welding things back together. I've also fixed many other pieces of furniture, re-upholstered a lot of dining chairs so that they have sold, found out many of the items that are donated were/are worth a lot more than they knew, hello antique and design knowledge, assisted countless numbers of customers, researched many items to find prices, and probably some other things. I will hit the ground running and won't need training for the job, I've had it.Today I find out I still have to apply through a temp agency, did, go to the temp agency so that they can meet me before sending me to the organization that I have been with for over 1 year volunteering. Does this make sense to anyone? It's confusing the everliving, complete, and utter crap out of me. So, I have to go to a temp agency to be approved for a job with people that I've know for almost 1 and a half years? Yes, I am super frustrated. I'm sorry temp agency, I knew about the job before you all did, I know the manager, but yet I'll probably have to accept a lower pay for the first few months so that you all get paid?(If I do get the job) What exactly are you guys doing for me? A background check and a drug test. Do I have to study for that? I have a really boring background, except for that time in Alabama in the El Dorado convertible on the way to spring break in Destin, oh wait nothing happened.

I'm a smart individual, the smartest? Nope, I definitely know that, I screw up, I make mistakes, and I don't know everything, a lot, yes. But not everything, far from it. So, what do I know?
Information Technology
Energy Efficiency
Automotive repair basic
woodworking skills
household repairs
animal care
Probably a lot more things that I do know that I don't even think about(not that I think that highly of myself, I unfortunately don't). I don't know how to fix a lot of things as evidenced by my car being in the shop. I do keep my old 64 Ford truck running on my own, except for the clutch, no thanks I wasn't going to do that job. I do what needs to be done and yet still I am broke, in debt, have no prospects, and I am at this time depressed about all of it. I've been lucky to have a very loving family that has helped and supported me through this time.

I work part time gardening for a neighbor, do handyman work for several people part time, take classes to be a master gardener, run my art business on etsy,, have several galleries with my art work, work at 1 of the galleries part time, volunteer at 2 different places, contribute artwork to charities, sometimes help out my friend at her school(doing artsy things), help out my sister with her kids as much as possible, help around the house, and maintain and plant 2 gardens for family. I know a lot of people that do more. I'm not saying I work more than anyone at all.

Am I a lazy slacker? I don't want to be rich and famous, I would however like to pay my bills, have a place to live, food to eat, and some beer to drink. I can't even do that right now however and I feel like a loser in spite of it all.

And then I think do I want to work for an organization that can't just say "Hey, Joel, go to this temp agency and fill out the application, it's a formality, we want you for the position but we have to do this because of the rules of our organization." At one time I did, now, I'm not so sure.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Things I've made

This shelf was made from old pallets. It took some time to build, those things are difficult to take apart. It's about 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide and 16 inches deep. And I probably won't be making another one. This was made for a friend's office. I have been busy working on other projects but I'm still painting another robot, got a sawblade face to paint, and a fish to clean up. Painting sculpture takes a lot of time for me, I have trouble picking the colors out. I have finished repainting the flamingos and hope to take them to a local garden shop this week. I'll have a dark blue one, a small red one, a green one, and an orange one. Yes, I do plan on making another pink one, I just don't have the materials for it right now. So, soon.

This is the bowler, a small and simple robot like sculpture made out of a spark plug, screws, and a big nut. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Manual Transmission

So, I've been thinking about cars and trucks lately. I went with a friend to look at cars, she wants to find something that gets better gas mileage. A very good thing, but I think mostly it's about saving money. My friend drives a mini-van now and it does fairly well around town 15-20 miles per gallon, which for a van with a fark load of room is good, is it great? Nope, but not too bad. She would like something that got around 30 mpg around town. Cool, what get's that kind of mileage? Small cars, really small cars. Want to have some fun? Go look for a car and tell them that you want something fuel efficient. We had 2 different sales people tell us about the Chevy Impala and they said it gets good mileage around town. True, but low to mid 20's isn't that great. And to be honest the Impala ain't what it used to be, it's a boring front wheel drive slushbox, not the cool ass mid 90s Impala's. Oh, Chevy what happened? Well that's another story. So we end up looking at a bunch of tiny cars, in comparison to the van.(Note: I drive a Ford Contour, which is small, but not the smallest car out there). Well, we test drove a few cars and even one truck, a Ford Ranger, and I don't think there was anything that really impressed my friend. Me either. A bunch of slushbox, beige cars. Slushbox? Yep, an automatic transmission. When did it become so hard to find a manual transmission? Yes, I know that the automatics have come a long way and they are getting close to the same mileage as a manual transmission but you lose a lot. Where is the excitement? I love rowing through the gears. Yes, some of you hate them because, oh, I'll get stuck in a traffic jam, I do a lot of intown driving. Guess what I do both of them. So what! If you don't ride some ones bumper in a traffic jam you actually can do quite well. I like to play a game of see how few times I can push the clutch in when I'm in bumper to bumper traffic. I don't want to have to push the clutch in and come to a stop but if I have too? No big deal. To me there isn't much I like about driving except shifting gears and really feeling like I'm in control, revving the engine, taking turns, and coming out in a low gear and stomping it! So, driving an automatic is boring to me. I am very glad my parents taught me how to drive a stick shift, and I learned lots of new words and sayings driving with my Dad.

So, now that I've completely and utterly bored you with that diatribe I'll finish up with what I was thinking about the other day driving along. 
If any of you are familiar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, bless his noodly goodness, you'll know that the planet has been warming as the number of pirates in the world has gone down. My thought was that, in the USA we've seen the number of manual transmission cars reduced to few and far between and at the same time we've seen a skyrocketing obesity rate. Coincidence? I'm not sure. In conclusion, I like to shift gears, even in the old Ford truck with the 3 speed formerly on the column transmission. Now there are probably a lot of other factors in my crazed conclusion but keep in mind, if you sat in bumper to bumper traffic 5 days a week and had to push the clutch in and out, in and out, you might get sick of that shit and move closer to work, get home sooner, and have time to walk, exercise, play in the yard with your kids or dog or maybe cat, or you know do things with you significant other.(Ultimate Frisbee). And you would get exercise with out thinking about it. So, lose weight buy a stick shift. I've heard good things about the Fiat.
MetalArtDude receives no compensation for any mention of any of these vehicles but if your company would like to send me something it would be appreciated, a lot. ;-)

And some pics from one of my last hubcap hunting trips!


Dodge Truck

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chase the Sun

Chasing the sun, following the moon. The cows come along, glancing at me, wondering, wondering, where are we going? Not caring where we have been, Chase the sun. See the pink sky at night, the cows follow along, the cows follow along!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today, the day after leap day, March 1, has been a beautiful day in Georgia, warm and sunny. I however have not enjoyed it as I have a nasty cold. Dang where did that come from? So, last Sunday I went to a fundraiser and got a bowl and some soup, it was good! I had donated a clock to the silent auction.
I've been working on some new things at my new studio, hubcap clocks, faces, clocks, and some new robots. It is nice having a studio space, I do miss having a space at home but I haven't had that in over a year. Things change, people change, I certainly have changed a lot over the last year and a half. I've been lucky at my new studio that the owner of the property lets me get access to lots of automotive parts and such. Another local artist was cleaning up his house and I got a lot from him too.

When I moved from Decatur to Carrollton I had to get rid of over a ton of scrap metal. I just couldn't move it an hour away. It sucked but I've met a lot of nice and caring people out here that have helped me tremendously.  Thank you to everyone that has helped!

Now if I could figure out what to do with the 55 Oldsmobile hubcap I'll be doing great. Apparently it is called a fiesta spinner hubcap and is sort of rare, at least from my research. I probably won't be making it into a clock however.
Saw Blade Clock

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Art

Some new pieces that I made in my new studio space. Hopefully I'll be able to make lots more!  lucky-mustache-original-metal-wall
The Lucky Mustache

Wood Head         wood-head-original-metal-wall-sculpture
Drill Robot

Gear Face Clock

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hubcap clocks

I've finished moving into a new space. Hopefully this coming week I'll be working on things at the new place. I've already made a few new hubcap clocks there and posted to etsy.  Hearts, flying creatures, a bank, a bike wheel clock, and some lamps are some of the things that I'll be working on soon. Also for now I am taking a class to become a better gardener. So far so good, only 2 class down and quite a few more to go. So without further ado, the link to the 1969 Oldsmobile 88 hubcap clock.

1983 Dodge Aries chalkboard hubcap clock.

69 Olds 88

Scanned and digitally altered original artwork photo

Monday, January 30, 2012

Things that I think about while driving 75 mph

Sometimes it's easy to get lost in one's own perspective. My life is so busy, I'm so stressed, I'm overworked, these people drive like idiots, and on and on. Not saying that about my self, except the driving thing and I'm pretty sure that the other drivers think that I'm the idiot too.

So, where were we? Well when I'm driving and sometimes getting down on myself, life, and things I think about the world. I think that in this huge world on this tiny planet many things are going on that have nothing to do with me but happen just the same. Now babies are being born, thousands. Someone is dying, actually thousands. Someone decided today just now that they didn't want to live any more and took the situation into their own hands. That is sad, there is always someone that cares! Now there are people making babies, leaving work, getting high, getting drunk, waking up, sleeping, eating, cooking, planting something, and there are people making plans that you and I might not agree with. With billions of people on this planet you can be assured that no matter what you are feeling and myself included, you are not alone.

 I think about these things and more sometimes and it makes me feel small and insignificant, I am but one person. But my life's struggles, hardships, and joys are a tiny part of this thing we call life. Thinking about these things help me to stop the pity party, chill out, and realize that it's a lot more than about me.

But I probably should paying more attention while I drive, actually I do. I know how quickly things can change. And now for cute dog pictures!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The beginning of the year is a time to reflect on what worked last year and what I want to improve this year. There are a lot of things that I want to improve. I have struggled financially all last year and only through the grace, support, and help of my parents have I made it to where I am today. I walked away from a marriage with not much, a divorce saddled me with a large debt, not being able to find steady employment has added to that. I am hoping this year that I will improve my art work and sales of said artwork. I was at a meeting with other artists the other night and the gallery owners were discussing what worked and what did not work. I need to sit down and figure some of those things out for my self because I need to move on and up. :-)

So, of course what did I do today? Went to another salvage yard and got some awesome hubcaps! And a few pics of some of the sights.

56 or 57 Chevy
65 Ford Truck

Salvage Yard

VW and Rambler

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hubcap Clocks

61 Oldsmobile
I've busy lately getting a lot of hubcaps ready for different galleries. I'm up to 3 now and hopefully 4 in the very near future. Inside Out Accessories in Vinings Jubilee, HomeGrown Decatur, and At the Collective in Inman park. The next gallery is in downtown Newnan, GA, it's called Bells Handcrafts, hopefully next week I'll head down there and give them some inventory. Now the garage that I'm going to rent starting in February will let me have a place to do my welding and work on the hubcaps and other clocks. I've got a lot to do. I have requests for some garden art flying pigs, a metal bank, and some more lamps. Time to get busy! 
So what else has been going on? Well, I haven't had a disaster yet but that's a good thing? Life is normalizing and I'm finding my way in Carrollton, GA, wow, it's been a long strange and fun year living in a new/old place. I've changed a lot over this last year, I think and hope for the best though. I don't have a permanent job yet and sometimes don't know if I will again, not that I don't want one, I do, I think that the path and way I'm heading is working for me! It's just different than what I did for the last 15 plus years. Soon I start a program to be a master gardener! I am looking forward to this immensely. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Around town

Things that I saw today.
1 Hawk on a wire, electric wire, perched. Never seen a hawk sitting like that before. I think it was checking out the birds in the field across the street.
A contingent of ducks crossing the road to get from one side of the lake to the other side of the lake, thereby holding up traffic.
Went to walmart found a lot of things made in the USA, mostly socks and undershirts.
Went to the cowboy shop in Roopville, got a new pair of boots. No cowboys were there today.
Got 2 tires for the Scrap Bin's display.
Hawk that landed across the street one day
I got a whole bunch of hubcaps for new clocks. Now to polish them all and drill some holes.
Hopefully will have a 2 new galleries in a few weeks.
Not much to say but thanks for stopping by, check out my etsy site if you would like,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year new beginning

Well, I've made it to a new year, as have many other people. But if you would have asked me a few years ago I probably wouldn't have been very positive about making it to this year. 2011 was a year of change and transformation for me. The change is always going to be there but I've come out of the process stronger and much healthier. I actually look forward to the future, I want to have a tomorrow, and a new life. I have changed much over the last year, and that is a very good thing, I still have a long way to go but now there is light and the tunnel is behind me. Now to get some artwork done and some photos of said artwork. I'll have a new studio to work at in a few weeks, really just a garage at an transmission shop but a real place to create!
Pluto in the Sun