Words to live by

I must live
by my word

you must live
by the very utterances
that pass through your lips

we must live
by the noise we create

so don’t be quiet
or check your laugh
‘cause you very well may be writing
a lifelong epitaph

and headstones are smaller this year
for the touchstones of progress
have all but disappeared
fallen by the side of the way
a mass grave for noeveryone
who still has something
but simply refuses to say
what it is
and what they will make it be
how they will choose to make one another see
through the impending gloom
of a derisive physical presence
when in fact it is that very essence
that mode of projection that breeds the affection
the beast so longs to attract
if you don’t live such true emanations
then you’re writing a lifelong epitaph

that no one should heed
or read and submit to their own canon
imagine the melodies and metaphors born in your brain
which through practiced and deliberate inflection
you attempted to electrify and explain
so you bore them on your tongue
with gastric acid spittle
then bored a hole
through your soulless selfless poetic flesh
that shall turn to ash
and soon be nothing
sooner than loved ones should stop and ask
who is it that’s buried here anyways?
did they really have anything at all to say?

people, you can and must speak
from beyond the grave
through the reverberations you yourself make
while you are living
and also alive

yet no one will guide you
with rod and with staff
if you choose to spend your time
writing that voiceless epitaph

and yes, there are some nights
where we must be eulogized
to stay alive
and to realize
that we are beings of immense value beauty and wealth
to understand that our noise
is the only sound we must ever walk with

so you must  learn
to make that noise machine
a part of your scene
a piece of your brain and burden
and all of your means
‘til you can go baby go
‘til your soul is once more clean
like a baby’s
when you knew nothing
and everything was new
and all you knew to do
was scream

and we come into this world screaming
with fists clenched
then retire retreat and succumb
in muddled defeat
forgetting that scream
and to show what we mean
by living the very noise we create

I’m going outta here
the very same way I came in
head first
and screaming
with no need for a personal epitaph

I suppose I’ll leave that up to someone
with just a little bit more craft

Austin Bader
Copyright 2012

Posted in Austin Bader, Chicago Poetry, Lyrics, Musings, Poetry, Prose, Spoken Word, Uncategorized, Word | Leave a comment

Floating steel

Spring has arrived and my soul is aloft once more…as are the soles of my boots, and the rest of me for that matter, about fifty feet in the air on a Chi-town rooftop.  And while this season is certainly known to set one’s heart alight, it was time to stoke a different fire and make metal magic again.

The client’s goal for this project was twofold.  The first, a utilitarian task, was to construct an object that would prevent roof bound revelers from tumbling perilously through a skylight, and onto the host’s dining room table two full stories below.  The second goal was to make steel float…yes float.  Well, at least the corners.

I believe we achieved both.  See for yourself in the pics below. 

Cheers all

Austin Bader

Copyright 2012

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, TIG Welding, Uncategorized, Welding, Word | 3 Comments

Base player

Some of you who are familiar with me know that I’ve been prone to picking up a bass guitar from time to time. But today I’m sharing a different kind of base with you all…a hand crafted, mild steel cabinet base.

I had the opportunity again to collaborate with the talented designer and craftsman Mark Cwik, this time on a gorgeous dresser. The piece is stunning in quarter sawn American black walnut with circular inlays and alternating perpendicular grain patterns.

The design required a svelte, yet robust base, so I broke out the trusty old TIG welder and got to work on some 14 gauge square tubing. After a few miter cuts, a number of solid, well placed welds, some grinding, sanding, finishing, a couple squirts of some righteous lacquer, and voila, done! Well actually it’s a wee bit more in depth than that, but you get the picture.

Speaking of which, check out the photos below for images of the finished product. And again, should you find yourself in need of original, custom furniture pieces and cabinetry, contact Mark. His craftsmanship is second to none.  www.markcwikstudio.com

It’s always a pleasure holding down the low end on projects like this, and letting the bass notes ring long, loud and clear.

Cheers all
Austin

First photo in the sereies courtesy of Mark Cwik Studio

Austin Bader
Copyright 2012

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, TIG Welding, Uncategorized, Welding, Word | Leave a comment

Rosewood & Steel

I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with an extremely talented designer and furniture builder by the name of Mark Cwik.

While strolling through this year’s Design Harvest show, I came across Mark’s work and was all but floored by the pieces on display…striking, elegant designs, expertly crafted in exotic woods such as figured bubinga, wenge and santos rosewood.

Mark and I struck up a conversation on the topic of his requiring custom metal bases to compliment some of his work.  Shortly thereafter we met to discuss specifications for an exquisite cabinet.

The pieces you see below are the fruits of that collaboration…a smattering of 14 and 16 gauge square and rectangular tubing, TIG welded, then finish ground, sanded and blended with a multitude of abrasives.

A wet burnished, layered patina was applied to bring a depth to the pieces, subtly revealing different tones and hues under varying light conditions, much in the same manner as the stunning santos rosewood cabinets themselves refract the light. A robust lacquer finishes off the bases, with one of the two receiving an additional tinted wax.

Fabricating these pieces was a joy, as it’s always refreshing and invigorating working with like-minded artists and craftsmen. I look forward to future collaborations with Mark and implore you to check out his site at http://www.markcwikstudio.com/. If you’re in the market for extraordinary, hand made, custom furniture, you need not look any further.

And lastly, a special shout out to another talented artist by the name of Matt Runfola.  He came through in a pinch with a voodoo mix of solvent dye in a mason jar, and some last minute finishing expertise.

Also of note, the first photo in this series is courtesy of Mark Cwik Studio. Due to time constraints, I was unable to properly photograph the cabinets and bases prior to publishing.

Cheers all,
AFB


Austin Bader
Copyright 2011

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, Prose, TIG Welding, Uncategorized, Welding, Word | Leave a comment

Autumn

yesterday
there were no leaves
on the ground
today
they abound

driven down
from lazy swaying
tendril tips
by that wicked
October noreaster
that cuts
as hard as it whips

so welcome fall
welcome autumn
it’s been so very long
since you have spoken

now tell me
sweet season of decay
did you bring a new romance
a fresh partner
with which to dance
and to play

I believe you have
for I’m gazing
at this raven hair lass
with dancing eyes
waxing transcendental
all the while transfixed
by her smile

a smile so honest
so vivid
so kind
I could only wish to wade
in its warmth
for quite some time

then proceed
nether from there
without care
from the nape of her neck
to the base of her back
on to the hips
back through the mind
and straight to the lips

remaining parked there
its never parched there
forever moist there
playfully pulling and tugging
that thick mane
of lustrous hair

we will share picnics
design mad trysts
envelop one another
in furious passionate
three day fits
we will make
many plans
we shall write
many lists

for as short lived
as autumn may be
she is brilliantly sweet
dying before your very eyes
at your feet
while enraptured vines
entangled in summer’s delight
quietly sigh
in the shadow
of the waning first frost
yet all is not lost

a budding fruit
in the twilight of perennials
hardly the opportune time
for cultivating annuals
as the tiller man
tosses the soil
and toils
sowing the seeds
for winter wheat
a glowing field
of a bed nonetheless
a bed made
for this couple
on which to rest

Austin Bader
Coptright 2011

Posted in Chicago Poetry, Lyrics, Musings, Poetry, Prose, Spoken Word, Word | Leave a comment

Candle power

I’ve always enjoyed the ambiance created by the pulsing glow of a candle, casting its mellow staccato light about a room.  There’s something so base, so elemental and primitive, that one can’t help but be enamored with this seemingly life giving luminous glimmer.

Subscribing to the theory that many are better than one, I decided to harness this radiance and amplify it.

As with many of my pieces, the materials chosen are a unique smattering of items old and new.  The mirror itself was given to me by a friend.  It was wrapped in a grotesque puke-gold frame that was immediately discarded and relinquished to the scrappers, ultimately finding its highest and best use in the roiling bowels of a smelter’s furnace.

Replacing this border piece is a custom angle iron frame, welded from a reclaimed steel bed frame.  Hey, you give some to the scrappers, you take some from the scrappers.  All of life is a cycle…or perhaps better yet, a recycle.

The votive holders originally began their useful life as a single drive chain from a Mid ‘70’s, shaft driven, Honda motorcycle transmission.  The pins linking the chain were severed at the desired length, reassembled, welded and flush ground to create the proper sized hoop.

Steel bases were cut from eighth inch plate and the votive holders welded to them.  This assembly receives the bevel cut half inch square bar, in turn welded to the one inch by eighth inch flat stock that comprises the support arm.

A distressed patina was applied and many of the milling marks from the grinding and sanding process were left in place to complete the piece, with wet burnished black lacquer filling in these scuffs for a rough hewn, yet still elegant finish.

The piece really must be viewed in person, as I’ll not go into the details of attempting to photograph a mirror.  Needless to say, it is a ridiculously difficult task…unless of course you can locate a background that stretches to infinity.

I did my best with the pics and hope you’re capable of focusing on the frame as opposed to just the reflected images…although some of them are striking, especially that last one in the series.

Enjoy

Austin Bader

Copyright 2011

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, TIG Welding, Uncategorized, Welding, Word | 4 Comments

Let there be light

The patent date reads May, 1893 on the cast iron heating grates I’m holding in front of me, my knuckles bloody, hands filthy, stained by the removal of a hundred plus years of grime and lead based paint.  Yet all I can see are the lives of those who toiled to create these beautiful, beautiful things.

Scattered about my shop are items soon to collaborate…solid steel “C” channel, glistening reflective tin, magnificent slabs of million year old honey onyx.  There are wires, bulbs, a handful of fasteners too.  They will all coalesce to raise these glorious grates to a new level at my behest of my deft hands.

Rather than expound, elaborate, and explain the life given to these pieces, as I’m wont to do, I’ve chosen this time to let the pictures speak their thousands of words.  Now, if only the photos could actually do justice…

 

Austin F. Bader

Copyright 2011

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, TIG Welding, Welding, Word | 2 Comments

Crazy Mary

Well here she is…we finally made it to the dance…all slim, slender and shiny.

The piece below I affectionately refer to as Crazy Mary.  Her and I go way back, as I’ve been prototyping this design for some time.  Funny name I know, and it’s a long story for certain, but a story we’ll save for another day.

I will however expound on the specs of this sexy little table.  She stands thirty-three inches tall, thirteen wide, thirteen long.  Those svelte legs of hers are three-quarters by three-quarters, sixteenth of an inch wall, mild steel tubing.

Her topside is a unique amalgam…inch and an eighth, inch and an eighth, eighth inch wall angle iron, that started life as a queen-sized bed frame…then was stripped, sanded clean, and welded into a perfect square.

This box of hers was further fortified with equally slender rebar, topped with eighth inch flat bar in a pattern mimicking the stretcher below, then stuffed full of concrete.  Yeah, she’s solid concrete on top.  Not quite a brick shithouse, but good and thick nonetheless.

And about that stretcher spanning those legs…it too is comprised of eighth inch wall, three-quarter inch flat bar, lovingly sculpted to accentuate and evoke, tying all of her fine elements together.

She shines with the help of some serious lacquer and a ton of hours of grinding, sanding and polishing.  And as much as I’d love to keep her for my own, it’s time to send her out into the world and set her free.

This table can be purchased in its current configuration.  However, there are myriad finishes, sizes and specifications that can be custom tailored based upon this design.  I invite you to contact me to discuss the possibilities.

 

Austin F. Bader

Copyright 2011

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, TIG Welding, Uncategorized, Welding, Word | 2 Comments

Home décor ideas

So let me guess, you’re staring at that crusty, air-cooled, VW, flat four lump of a motor you’ve got laying around the house and wondering…how can I better use this to accent the home?

Well just do what I did, take the reciprocating assembly, crankshaft, connecting rods, flywheel, then add some custom bent half-inch conduit, the camshaft sprocket from a mid ‘70’s BMW, some lamp guts new and old…

OK, well this may not be a scenario you’ll ever have reason to contemplate…but it’s one I more than contemplated.  Martha Stewart may not come calling, but this lamp never fails to elicit a response.  Check out the pics.  And thanks again to Big Joe for most of the material and some damn fine design consultation.

Austin Bader
Copyright 2011

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Bader Art Metal, Chicago Metal Art, Chicago Welding, Design, Metal, MIG Welding, Musings, TIG Welding, Uncategorized, Welding, Word | 2 Comments

Rocketship

built a rocketship
for a friend
so she could jettison
to galaxies beyond
in search of life forms
as intelligent as she

ain’t no engineer
but I’ve ridden that train
ain’t no cosmonaut
that’s not something I’d feign
ain’t no astrophysicist
too cerebral for my brain
been known though
to get lost in the stars

it ain’t no science
this rocket building thing
just weld it all together
run what you bring
light that candle
watch it glow
then stand back plenty y’all
that’s all you need to know

and I know there’s no room
in that rocket for me
‘cause I designed that ship
to set only one person free
gonna shoot her into orbit
see what she can see
blast her into orbit
then keep an eye on the stars
from the plush backseat
of my convertible car
high up on that hill
where together
we killed eons of time
now a friend of that devil
is a very close friend of mine
with exquisite taste in wine

she and I toast you
as you orbit round and round
traipse in maddening circles
light years above the ground
we always found you
a trifle too vain
in your amplified attempts
at being profound
now for the life of me
I cannot recall
if I installed the device
that’s gonna set that rocketship
back down

Austin F. Bader
Copyright 2011

Posted in Austin Bader, Austin F Bader, Chicago Poetry, Lyrics, Musings, Poetry, Prose, Spoken Word, Uncategorized, Word | Leave a comment