Andrews, Frank

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“It starts with an exciting field trip”, Frank Andrews said when asked about his process for creating his welded copper petroglyph sculptures. “I hike into prehistoric rock art sites in the deserts of the Southwest and in Hawai‘i; take photographs and make drawings; then convert them into sculpture patterns in my studio.”
Andrews strives to capture the simple elegance and mystery of stone-age artistic expression while maintaining anthropological accuracy.
“I bend different sizes of copper tubing to the image of my pattern, hammer the pieces fiat on an anvil, then assemble the figure by welding the elements together with an oxy-acetylene welding torch. The design is then coated several times with copper welding rod to build up a texture that replicates the texture of the original stone image.”
To create the unique patina, “Copper, when hot, reacts with vivid color to reapplication of heat. I let the sculpture cool for a timed interval then reheat it in selective spots with a sharp torch flame. Several repetitions of this process will yield a copper-orange-brown-blue patina which is actually part of the surface of the finished figure.
“The final step is to weld on the wall hanging system which consists of a small ring for wall attachment and pins that space the sculpture about one inch away from the wall. The wall shadows cast by this spacing greatly dramatize the figure.”

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