Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Metalogical

Anyone who knows me know that I have a ridiculous obsession with kick-ass belt buckles. So, naturally, when I found Metalogical, I fell madly in love. Chris' work is incredibly unique and classic at the same time. I mean, how often do you come across a belt buckle that looks like modern art AND opens your beer for you?!?


If you have ever wondered about how metal artist do their thing, take a sec and watch Chris's video, it's really cool!




Name: Chris Alexander
Business: Metalogical


Where to find Metalogical: 
www.metalogical.etsy.com
http://meta-logical.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/metalogical
Facebook

The Basics:
Hi, my name is Chris. I make metal products by hand. My wife helps out with the business side of things, design, and occasionally some metalwork. We have a two year-old daughter who does her best to make sure we don’t work too much! I have always had in interest in metalwork, but I didn’t get totally hooked until I discovered blacksmithing and the heat of the forge. I put a great deal of care into each piece I create to ensure only the highest quality work is sent out to my customers. 
I started selling online working from a small home workshop in the suburbs of Denver. Our last home was in an old 1930s neighborhood and all the houses were close together. My work is really loud and involves a lot of fire, so it wasn't the greatest location and I'm sure the neighbors don't miss me too much. Our new location is out in the country and there is nobody around to be bothered by my noise. It's so exciting to be able to work any time I want!



1. What five words best describe you?
easygoing, honest, introvert, quirky, idealistic

2. What five words best describe your work?
useful, simple, fun, durable, affordable

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
It may not meet a strict definition of art form, but building custom motorcycles is what originally got me into metalwork. I used to work on my first motorcycle a little. Then when I bought another bike, a vintage motorcycle, it had some problems, so I thought I might as well tear it down and build something unique. I have one right now that I am finishing up. The cool thing about trying to build motorcyles is that you can potentially get into all areas of metalwork.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
I've had a lot of bad jobs, but the hardest job I ever had was working for my father-in-law's lawn service business. I ended up working for him off and on while I was getting started in metalwork. I ran the mowers, which were the walk behind commercial type. Sometimes, we'd put in over 12 hours in a day with just a few short breaks. That's a lot of walking. There were times, especially during heat waves, where I thought I might just lie down and die. I don't think I'll ever have a harder job than that, so no matter how hot it gets forging in the shop, I can think about that job and it puts things in perspective. I also learned a lot about running a small business from my father-in-law.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative?
It's my full-time career. I'm still working on making a full-time living at it, but I pursue it full-time. I'd have to say my favorite part is the freedom that comes with working for yourself.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Make sure you keep creating. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and feel like things aren't going exactly how I planned. I'll stop working on whatever I'm doing right then, and do something totally unrelated, that still requires some creativity. I'll work on a motorcycle project, for example, or fix some tool that I've been meaning to get to for a long time. It kind of presses the reset button for me and often leads to other ideas. Oh yeah, and if you are going to be working from home and selling on the internet, don't forget to brush your teeth!

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I like selling online because I barely even have to leave the house . Well, except to go to the mailbox and run errands. I'm going to try to get more involved locally, though. The only trouble with running an internet craft business from home is that when you get busy, you really never leave the house. I'm trying to incorporate some things that will get me out there in the world a bit more.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
www.sparetime.jp
http://www.gravel-crew.com/custom/
http://www.heiwa-mc.jp/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/?utm_source=nl_2009-09-28&utm_medium=email
www.floridata.com

9. Favorite artist?
There are so many genres and mediums that could be called art that I would have a tough time choosing just one.

10. Guilty pleasure?
Hmm … I think I need the top five format for this question. Just kidding – I'll go with staying up too late and watching streaming movies on Netlfix in bed.





~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~


Chris has generously offered one winner their choice of ANYTHING (pick one item) from his Etsy Shop!


TO ENTER:
- Go to Chris's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in your comment below (no need to leave multiple comments, you'll get an entry for each thing you do, just put it all into one comment)!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.

~~ Last Week's Winner: Melissa (the one who's email begins with 'wolverina'  ~~

18 comments:

SNSpencer said...

I have a friend who does metalwork for a living and it's great to see the "Craft" side of the art. Working with metal is way harder than working in many of the other mediums so my hat's off to you. Great work with a great application. Too bad your customer base has been narrowed by the current trend of "pants on the ground" fashion. But on the other hand, the bottle opener keeps the college demographic squarly in you sights.

As for my favorite. Bottle Opener Buckle GREEN - Because it's green... and it has the bottle opener function. That would come in handy in my shop!

Jef Spencer
SNSpencer at Yahoo dot com
www.facebook.com/Refined Pallet

Donna said...

WOW, what talent...love it!
I really really liked the Simple Buckle BLACK the best.

Plus, I follow your blog and I'm a facebook fan.

Donna
dwarrington1@gmail.com

mruna said...

I love the hammerred green bottle opener buckle! Its just perfect to wear camping considering it is so foresty and also serves as a bottle opener! This thing is such a brainwave ..love it!

mrunamistry at gmail dot com

Jill said...

My favorite is: http://www.etsy.com/listing/50673758/bottle-opener-buckle-black
Would go with anything. I'd gift it to my bf who loves his beer but is always using teeth and countertops since he misplaces the bottle openers.

jillhardtATgmailDOTcom

Grace said...

I like hammered pink & bottle opener green. How cool!

Amoeba said...

This is definitely my favorite, no questions asked.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/19844769/hammered-buckle-pink

First of all, I love it because I'm a girl. Yes, a girl wanting to win this belt. I think big belt buckles look very cute with jeans and a nice fitted T. The pink adds the extra splash needed to make the outfit stand bright.

I also really like it because it's creative. I like to walk around with original pieces that likely noone else in the area owns. I want people to stare at it and be like "wow, where did you get that? I love it" I can assure you that if I saw someone wearing that, I'd think and ask the same thing. The texture on the buckle also makes the belt unique. No other belt will have that same exact pattern.

I like the texture also because it doesn't make the belt TOO girly because of the pink. Because it seems kind of like a rough texture, it's cute but also says I'm not that easy.

Hope you pick me! I really want this belt :)

hilaryduff53AThotmailDOTcom

illana Burk said...

Hey... no one said belt buckles are just for boys! I picked Metalogical for a feature because I WANT ONE TOO!!!:) There really is something about the contrast between the visceral thick metal and that lovely shade of pink, isn't there?

Audrey said...

Cool! I love Hammered Buckle in Red. Very unique.
acg@gaggle.net

Cindy said...

I love the simple buckle natural. It goes with everything and I think it has a clean, simple, sleek look. I also like the hammered buckles as well. cindyhinckley at msn.

Tessa said...

I love the texture of the hammered red buckle — it makes me think of the sky raining fire, like fireworks on the 4th of July. It seems perfect to wear on a belted dress to a picnic as a statement piece!

tessa[dot]muggeridge[at]gmail[dot]com

Amoeba said...

I wish I knew how to edit my comments. I came back and followed your blog... sorry for putting them in separate posts!

Sorry I didn't do this earlier. I follow visa by twitter acct jeydonwaie

Rebecca said...

I just love the Natural Bottle Opener Buckle (http://www.etsy.com/listing/52575059/bottle-opener-buckle-natural), partially because it reminds me of my lovely boyfriend (and he's who I'd give it to if I won!). It's very cool, very no-frills, but also quite clever, and super handy -- like him! :) We share a love for all things a) modern, b) industrial and c) utilitarian, and this is undeniably all three! While I would happily wear every last buckle in your shop, this one especially appeals to my personal aesthetic, as well as my love for metal au naturale!

WONDERFUL shop, and a very generous giveaway. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

Sincerely,
Becca

Rebecca said...

Oh crap, I also misread the part about commenting -- sorry! So used to the usual blog giveaway comment format.

Now following your blog as pennyroyaltea168[at!]gmail.com

Thanks again!
Becca

AmbreRose said...

These belt buckles are beautiful! I think I like the Hammered Buckle in the Rust color. I don't know if I like it with the bottle opener or not. I don't drink and have no use for a bottle opener but I really like the fun look of it. (I also secretly like it in the pink, but the rust would match more)
I also really liked the video, very cool how you make it.

ambrerose(at)aol(dot)com

A said...

Love the Bottle Opener Buckle BLACK

aliciamnieto at yahoo dot com

penelope stitch stop said...

I like the simple black buckle.

@ByHandGiveaways said...

I love the
Hammered Bottle Opener Buckle BLUE
I love the ridges and how it gives the appearance of something ike a painting or scenery


duhnellecarter [at] yahoo . com
--Get this giveaway free exposure here!
http://byhandgiveaways.blogspot.com

john said...

All sequence of how can make a nice belt buckle are really interesting! There are the label on that buckles after at the end is looking good.I like to tell you that i have some information and collections of belt buckles and some of them are also funny. I think you may like to see that. Thanks for this nice post with pic.