OT: Some metalwork at the Maryhill Museum
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  1. #1
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    Default OT: Some metalwork at the Maryhill Museum

    I've lived a couple hours away from the Maryhill Museum for about 25 years, but never took the time to go look at it. The history of the place involves a pretty wacky bunch of characters, including Queen Marie of Romania and an exotic dancer (no, not a stripper) and Sam Hill, a road-building tycoon of the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900's. The building itself is sort of an overgrown Italian palazzzo (Wikipedia says "Beaux Arts"), was intended to be one of Hill's residences, and is named for his wife. It sits on top of the north bluff of the Columbia River Gorge, right across from the truck stop of Biggs Junction, and is so perfectly out of place in this location as to be almost surreal.

    Among the various collections were a couple of things I thought might be interesting to other PM Forums members. There were a couple of pieces of outdoor metalwork sculpture, and I regret taking photos of just one. Made from welded "weathering" steel (likely Cor-Ten), my first reaction on seeing this flower/anemone/whatever was "He must have one Hell of a welding positioner". The leaves/petals/fronds are made from 1/2", 3/8", and 1/4" plate and the artist clearly had some sort of a press to put compound curves in them and flange the holes. The dark brown area near the tip of the bud/whatever is roughly 5 feet off the ground, so there's more to the foundation than just a shallow concrete slab. I didn't see any visible welds, except for the stem/stalk and the base.




    On the bottom floor of the museum, there's a collection of about 40 chess sets, ranging from standard retail Stauton sets to limited-edition (even unique) artwork sets. There's one from SKF, the bearing people, made from gilded and silvered ball and roller bearings. I imagine those are thrust washers at the base of the pawn, knight and bishop pieces. SKF obviously was never in the business of selling chess sets, so the museum believes this was a presentation set. How many were made is not known to the museum.

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    Artists never get any cash, so you have to give them credit. That piece is by Mike Suri, from Portland.
    Suri Iron – Sculptural and Architectural Metalwork in Portland Oregon

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    Thanks, Ries. I forgot to take notes from the placard on the piece.

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    Sam Hill was actually a RAIL-road magnate not a road builder. A ready to go train was kept near the house in case his wife Mary wanted to run into town - presumably Portland or Vancouver.

    He was, however, a great promoter of the famous Columbia Gorge highway.

    .

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    Well, he was also a lawyer, and he certainly was a road-builder in addition to a railroad executive. The experimental Maryhill Curves he had built (Loops??) are still just to the east of Hwy 97 going up toward Goldendale.

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    I have friends who go down to those curves to ride skateboards, downhill bikes, and other non-powered vehicles. They appreciate his road building far more than the train tracks he laid thru Montana. Its a popular spot for daredevils. They even let cars drive on it sometimes. So, to some, he is more important as a road builder than a railroad builder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    Artists never get any cash, so you have to give them credit. That piece is by Mike Suri, from Portland.
    Suri Iron – Sculptural and Architectural Metalwork in Portland Oregon
    How does metal sculpture artists earn a living; is it a long long tedious process of acceptance, with many years scraping by? I have always wanted to do metal sculpture. Have been taking welding classes at local tech college. Next semester plan on taking some fab classes, autobody painting and art orientated metal fab classes at UW Milwaukee.

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    I understand his big mansion in Nebraska? has steam pipes in the gutters and downspouts to melt any ice.
    Bil lD.

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    Since this is already ass-end-of-nowhere off topic, the Maryhill Winery is nearby and worth a stop. In addition to excellent wines, they have a spectacular outdoor ampitheater for summer concerts.

    Washington Wines - Concert Venue | Maryhill Winery

    jack vines

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    Quote Originally Posted by PackardV8 View Post
    Since this is already ass-end-of-nowhere off topic, the Maryhill Winery is nearby and worth a stop. In addition to excellent wines, they have a spectacular outdoor ampitheater for summer concerts.

    Washington Wines - Concert Venue | Maryhill Winery

    jack vines
    There are far better wineries in the area, IMO, and this is the last year of the concerts. I have been to many concerts and I have never seen so many inebriated drivers leave one as the Maryhill concerts. I have seen local sheriffs help people who are too drunk to stand get in the drivers seat of their cars to drive away. Obviously not a fan of the winery, but the museum is incredible! Keep in mind that only about 10% of the collection is on display at any one time.
    Last edited by DavidScott; 10-05-2018 at 03:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    How does metal sculpture artists earn a living; is it a long long tedious process of acceptance, with many years scraping by? I have always wanted to do metal sculpture. Have been taking welding classes at local tech college. Next semester plan on taking some fab classes, autobody painting and art orientated metal fab classes at UW Milwaukee.
    there are a hundred answers to that question.
    I know some who teach- in high schools, community colleges, and universities. I know some who have products they make and sell. I know some who have day jobs. Some are retired- a friend of mine spent 30 plus years as a high school art teacher, when he retired he began full time sculpture work.
    A very few actually make a good living selling work thru high end art galleries- probably less than a thousand in the whole USA.
    Some make a living making artwork for other artists- I know a half dozen who do that.
    Some do public art projects, which are a nightmarish combination of a government contract, the worst aspects of large construction projects, and usually have fixed budgets set years in advance- I have been doing this since 1978.

    Some, including me, make other things out of metal for money- I have built signage, lighting, commercial interiors, restaurant furniture, repaired parts of bakeries, breweries, trucks, equipment, barbecues, and a couple hundred other oddball things you couldnt imagine- I once built parts for raptor repellent devices for airports, to humanely dissuade raptors from nesting on lighting towers. I repaired chocolate waterfall machines for commercial candymakers, built manequins for beverly hills boutiques, and this year built custom picking carts for two very different agriculture applications.

    In short- the answer to your question is- however they can.

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