Category Archives: Metal

Shape and Balance Let Sculpture Turn at Sawtooth Wind Art

Copper wind art by Larry Pryor

Copper wind art by Larry Pryor stands outside Café Vino in Fort Collins.

Aspen trees, cattails, and ivy thrive year round in the outdoor gallery of Sawtooth Wind Art on the southwest edge of Fort Collins. Through sun, snow, rain, and hail, they hold their own, leaves and all. These, along with several contemporary sculptures, are the metalwork of owner Larry Pryor.

If you have dined at Café Vino in Fort Collins in the last four years, you have already seen some of Larry’s work in person. Inside, his copper ivy holds business cards of the building’s occupants within its leaves. Outside, two of his aspen trees and a willow glimmer in sunshine and spin in a breeze.

Not all of Larry’s creations responds to wind. But for those that do, the shape of the copper and the balance of weight around all sides determine how easily they turn with a breath of wind. Continue reading

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Artist, Artisan, Owner: Carey Hosterman Revels in Bronze at Rocky Mountain Bronze Shop

Buffalo in Bronze by Carey Hosterman

These buffalo in bronze created by Carey Hosterman are small enough to sit on a desk or bookshelf.

Carey Hosterman has been helping sculptors turn their clay art into bronze for over 30 years. At the same time, he has been developing his own skill as a sculptor. The buffalo pictured here, small enough to sit on a bookshelf, are currently his bestselling creation at Rocky Mountain Bronze Shop, the Loveland business he started 21 years ago.

Loveland, where Carey has lived since boyhood, has long been a center for producing bronze sculpture. Bronze shops sprouted up specializing in various phases of the long, involved process. Each step in turning a clay form into bronze requires unique skills and great care to ensure that the final bronze sculpture replicates every fine detail that the artist put into clay. Continue reading

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Goldworks: A Showcase for New Technology and Old World Skills in Jewelry Design and Fabrication

Goldworks on Old Town Square in Fort Collins, Colorado

Goldworks, owned by jewelry designer Tom Linenberger and his wife Sandy, sits along the north side of Old Town Square in Fort Collins. (Photo provided by Goldworks)

Along the north side of Old Town Square in Fort Collins sits Goldworks, owned by Tom and Sandy Linenberger and filled with fine jewelry designed and created by Tom and fellow artisan Mark Videan.

Tom and Mark met in 1994 at a trade show in Denver. They had come from different Midwestern states to check out the CAD (computer-assisted-design) programs available for jewelry designers. Their enthusiasm for the same design program sparked a long-lasting friendship. Tom opened Goldworks in Fort Collins four years ago. A year later, he convinced Mark to join him.

Mixing Technology and Tradition

White gold ring by Tom Linenberger

This  ring design shown in white gold was created by Tom Linenberger at Goldworks in Fort Collins. (Photo provided by Goldworks)

Both Tom and Mark are still enthusiastic about using a CAD program to make sure they produce what their customers expect. Before CAD, they couldn’t always be certain that a customer completely understood their drawn design. With a CAD program, however, they can turn their design in every direction to show the customer every aspect of it.

Once the customer agrees to a design – a particular ring, for example — the CAD program guides the milling machine that creates a wax version of the ring. Before they used CAD, Tom and Mark sculpted the ring out of wax by hand. Now the computer gives them a perfect wax form and frees their time for other creative work. Continue reading

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Wari Designs Offers Peruvian-Style Jewelry Handmade in Colorado

Handmade Peruvian jewelry by Edú Muñoz

Edú Muñoz uses a variety of metals in his jewelry  for Wari Designs.

Wandering through the booths at The French Nest Market in Fort Collins last July, I discovered the handmade Peruvian jewelry of Edú Muñoz. Dozens of earrings hung on felt boards. Necklaces and bracelets filled tables all around the booth.

Edú was no stranger to open air markets. He had put himself through veterinary school in Peru by selling his jewelry in parks and beside streets. Nonetheless, he hung back the day I met him, letting his wife Lindsay Saperstone, a CSU graduate born and raised in Fort Collins, greet customers and answer their questions.

The jewelry that they were selling under the name Wari Designs was astoundingly intricate and very reasonably priced. Lindsay explained that Edú uses an alloy made of copper and zinc and a small amount of nickel to make affordable jewelry with a silver tone.

Seven months later, I learned more about Wari Designs when I visited Lindsay and Edú at their home in Denver. Continue reading

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J.C. Milner Metalworks: Serious Work, Playful Art

Sterling silver jewelry by Jennie Milner

Sterling silver earrings, brooches, and necklaces by Jennie Milner are on display at Wadoo in Fort Collins.

J.C. Milner Metalworks. It’s a serious-sounding name for the business of the artisan who produces some of the most whimsical jewelry I’ve seen in my six months of visiting art festivals and galleries along the Front Range. Playfully executed birds and birdhouses, flowers and leaves are ever-recurring motifs in Jennie Milner’s jewelry and other art.

If you know the 1990 song “Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants, you know just how playful Jennie intends her work to be. She loved that song from the first time she heard it and picked the line “Build a little birdhouse in your soul” as the theme for her art. Continue reading

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