“It starts with an exciting ﬁeld trip”, Frank Andrews said when asked about his process for creating his welded copper petroglyph sculpture. “I hike into prehistoric rock art sites in the desert Southwest and Hawai‘i, take photographs and make drawings, then convert them into sculpture patterns in my studio”, he added.
Andrews has enjoyed a successful career as a sculptor during the past thirty-ﬁve years, a second career following his sojourn as a college teacher. His sculpture currently focuses on images derived from ancient stone carvings, with his stated goal to create wall hangings which capture the simple elegance and mystery of stone-age artistic expression while maintaining anthropological accuracy. “My raw materials are copper tubing and copper welding rod”,
Andrews continues, “I bend different sizes of 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.”
When asked about the unique patina colors of his sculpture, Andrews replies, “Copper, when hot, reacts with vivid color to reapplication of heat. I let the sculpture cool for a timed interval then reheat 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,” Andrews concluded, “is to weld on the wall hanging system which consists of a small ring for wall attachment and pins which space the sculpture about one inch away from the wall. The wall shadows cast by this spacing greatly dramatize the ﬁgure.”
View more work by Frank Andrews by visiting his page on our online store here.