Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Kinetic Art

I've been working on a number of kinetic pieces for the last few years and this is the latest work that I've just finished. I decided to work with mild steel for the propeller and the moon head because of the cost for stainless steel and copper. Folks in general also seem to like the patina the mild steel will get once it begins to oxidize from nature. There is nothing like "nature's paint" I always like to say...But I sure like shiny stainless steel too.

This piece was created using an old bicycle's moving neck and pedal gears. It was some work taking everything apart, cleaning it, re-oiling it, and finally reassembling everything. The first one of anything new is always the most precious. This piece will be in our year, but we're happy to create something similar based on your vision.

Send me an email at joe@cliftonmetalworks.com with your contact information and we'll talk about possibilities.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Mackie and I feel that it's our responsibility to take action in our own community. We feel very fortunate to have the success and security we have, and we attempt to encourage others to support what is important to them.

Over the past two weeks we're providing four sculptures for local charities including the Mt Hood Community College Scholarship fund, Serendipity Center, and Cares Northwest. The scholarship fund is self-explanitory, but the other two deserve some information.

The Serendipity Center provides specialized education and support for children that need something extra than is available through the public education system. More can be read at http://www.serendipitycenter.org/ .

CARES NW provides medically-based child abuse assesment and intervention program based in Portland, Oregon. It provides support and a place for these children to heal. You can read more at http://www.caresnw.org/

We encourage you to take a look around you, and if possible, give a hand to the many good charities that support your community

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Allways in April

"Allways in April" is our annual automobile swapmeet in Portland, Oregon. Each year brave souls from around the western United States and Canada bring their automotive treasures to the Portland Expo Center and the Portland International Raceway. There are over 4,200 vendor stalls in and outside the building on the Expo grounds, and over 50,000 people show up.

Mackie and I hauled our show wagon and walked the outside grounds earler today. We picked up some great beat up sheet metal, old tools, and some long metal horns. We're pretty excited what we'll create with our new found treasures!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kinetic fish

I spent all day working on a new kinetic piece that is made from bicycle parts. It's always fun to work on new items but sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to create a quality piece of art. I'm still working on the stand and hopefully I can get the kinks out and get some photos on the blog tomorrow. You can check out our website at www.cliftonmetalworks.com to see some of our previous creations. The website photos are only a small sampling of our work. You can always send us an email or give us a call to discuss something you have in mind.

This is a shot of a large kinetic fish sculpture in our booth at our last indoor show. He's created from a plow point, pitching show, late 1800's buckboard wagon springs and some flat steel.

Often I'm asked how long does it create a piece of work, and it is a real challenge for me to come up with the answer. This is because of the countless hours I think about something before I ever create it.

There are times I wake up in the middle of the night and begin working on a piece. Or I may get started on something and put it down for a day. Do some additional work and put it down for a week. I have some pieces that I started in the shop several months back and it may be the end of summer before I ever take it to a show.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Opening Day

It seems fitting that opening day for our blog is the same as opening day for baseball in Oregon. The Portland Beavers are supporting the Fresno Grizzlies. While I'm not a big baseball fan, I can't remember when I went to the last game, this time of the year reminds me of spring.

Spring is a time when everything is renewed; flowers are begining to bloom in our yard; our art is new and fresh after we've refreshed after a long-wet-cold winter in the northwest; and this is our first blog entry.

First, a little about us. Mackie, my wife, and I create recycled metal art that shows how we view the world. Nature is a main focus with birds, cats, and dogs being a large part of our work. However, nothing is put aside when the creative juices hit! Check out our website at www.cliftonmetalworks.com /Aboutus section. It tells a lot about how we grew up.

In the coming years, we'll be using this to share with you more about our lives and travels. Last year, Mackie and I exhibited in 32 art shows. I believe we are doing about 30 this year. We've been very fortunate that so many people have supported our creative work which in turn has helped us help so many others. Mackie and I donate a number of significant pieces to charity auctions each year.

See you soon,