Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another Humming-bird

Finally making a post. It was been a while. My life has been very busy lately. Anyways, here is another humming-bird piece. It stands about 20 inches tall. I was very happy with the bonsai tree that i made for it. I think I may eventually do a series of plants and trees.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Seeing Eye

I have been working on this piece for a long time. This is the All Seeing Eye. This symbol has can be found in many places throughout history sometimes called the Eye of Providence. It usually represents the eye of god watching over mankind. It can be traced back to the Eye of Horus in ancient Egypt. In Medieval and Renaissance Europe with the inclusion of the triangle it was often used to represent the Christian Trinity. Some people claim that it is a symbol often used by the Freemasons. It can also be found on the reverse of the United States national seal. An example of it can be seen on the back of the one dollar bill.
This is a wall hanging made from hundreds of small rectangle pieces. It hangs from a heavy duty wall mount bracket and is about 39 inches in diameter. When I was finishing this one up I decided to paint a few of the pieces white to help add to the radiating affect of the design. I also went with a gloss clear coat to allow the image to almost sparkle with light when viewed from various angles.
I am currently enjoying this piece in my home, but it is for sale. If you are interested in this or any other work please contact me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heavy Metal Hand

This is the Heavy Metal Hand. This is NOT A CASTING. It is a life-sized solid steel hand. I have another one that I am still working on. These take a while create. Projects like this require a lot of grinding and blending. I really like making my work solid.
I am letting this one continue to rust, except the hand. The hand has been rubbed with used motor oil. The oil soaks in to protect the metal from rusting, but also gives it a nice color. Once in a while I take an old rag and rub in more oil. If all goes to plan, the rest of the piece should rust up nicely leaving the hand with a bare steel look.
This piece is for sale. Contact me for more information.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beer mug

Who likes beer? This beer sign is made from mild steel, copper and stainless steel. I made the mug first and decided that it had a good sign like quality to it. I liked that because beer signs are everywhere and are sometimes an art onto themselves. I thought I needed to add some text to make the mug more like a sign. "BEER" I thought would be nice and generic but still cool.
I would love to make more of these and do variations : "BREW", "BAR", "TAVERN", "SALOON". I can do custom bar signs for people who own a bar or have one in their basement or something. For the home brewing guys I can make your sign read the name of your brewery.
That gives me an idea. Custom tap handles. I guess I need to find out what standard thread is used on those. I am already getting ideas for that project. Anyways...
Contact me with your questions or to place an order for your personalized custom bar sign.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Regatta Racer

Hi. It's been a little while since I have made a new post. I have been busy looking for a new day job. If any one knows of anything please let me know. I have also been busy finishing up some pieces that were cluttering up my welding studio.
This is a regatta racer that I made for my aunt. It is small in scale and can fit nicely on a desk or shelf. I also made the sailboat removable from the base. It also has i small bracket that can be used to mount it to the wall. I think I need to build a larger more detailed boat next.
When I was a kid my Grandpa would race his sailboat in the Watermelon regatta every summer at their lake house. It was really cool. They would race their little colorful boats around the lake and then at the end we ate tons of watermelon. So that is what I thought about when I made this piece.
Stay tuned for more new work. I have already shot some pictures and they are waiting anxiously to be posted. I know I always say this but contact me with any suggestions, comments, questions or requests. Peace.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Traffic Light Wall Lamp

This didn't involve a ton of metal work, but it is a good example of other kinds of things that I am always creating. I have made some furniture and lamps. This is wall lamp made out of an old glass lens from a traffic light. When I picked up these lenses I was surprised to learn how blue the "green" lens was. I decided to replace a boring wall lamp I had in my stairway with the blue lens. It fits nicely on my "Bubble Wall", consisting of my collection of convex mirrors. I used a compact fluorescent bulb with a cool spectrum to keep the blue look of the lens.
I also got a full traffic light when I picked up the lenses. I made that into a floor lamp by building a nice sturdy base and rewiring it. I gave it three small toggle switches on the back to control each light.
Can you tell who is in the that poster?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Capital Building

Hello. Hope everyone is having a great summer. The weather has been a little wacky but still enjoyable. I randomly do the farmer's market in East Dundee on Saturday mornings. I usually skip it looks like rain for sure. I skipped last week because most of the stuff I had to bring was not complete or already sold. I have several pieces being finished this week that will be for sale the next time I do the market.
Anyways, this piece has been in progress for quite a while now. I would say it was well worth the wait. This piece was made for someone who enjoys biking and lives in the Washington DC area. I was given complete artistic freedom on this one. It took a while to decide what to do. I didn't want to just make a miniature bicycle. Lame. I wanted to do something different. I thought, what if I used bicycle parts to build something.
I made the capital building and then it sat for a bit while I mulled over how to finish it. Eventually, after lots of other ideas, I came up with the idea of making a seal like image of it. I took some design hints from the details on cash. Get it "capital" = money. Not bad right? I was relieved when I was done and it actually worked. Not all of the materials used were from bicycles, for example there is some re-bar used as the pillars.
Another thing I really like about this piece is the statue on the spire of the building. This is made from part of a bike crank that I shaped into a figure. The figure is a bronze by Thomas Crawford named "Statue of Freedom". I found it really interesting to include his sculpture within my sculpture. I only made the rough shape of the figure but there is no mistaking for anything other than a statue.
I am currently looking for some more substantial commissions, as I want to make more large pieces. However no job is too small. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions on anything, or even just comments. If you already own a piece of my art I would really love to see how you have it displayed. Take a couple of photos when you get a chance and send them to my email. Kellensmetalart@comcast.net

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Here is another of my abstract wall pieces. They are just like sketches, but with steel. They give me good practice with composition. I think they turn out pretty good. I have several more that are in progress right now and others that I am currently painting. I have been sticking mostly with monotone type themes. I would love to get a commission for a large one of these and be given a direction for color and even shape. I have been thinking of doing some that are somewhat more figurative or roughly imply an image. This one is mostly green in color so I am calling it O-O-O-Organic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This sculpture is of a water lily floating at the waters surface. I made it look like the leaf and flower are floating on invisible water. I did this one a long time ago as a gift for my mom. If I were to do this one again I would make the underwater part of the plant more detailed, maybe adding a few more leaves that are growing up to the surface.
I hope everyone is having a good summer. You can come and visit me and see my artwork in person every saturday at the East Dundee farmers market. I am available for custom work as well as any handyman/repair jobs. Send me an email : Kellensmetalart@comcast.net.

Monday, June 15, 2009


 I am calling this piece Blueberry. It is an abstract wall hanging. This the first one of the series I have totally finished. There are several others already done and are in the process of being painted. 
I enjoy doing the hand painting on these. I may start to figure out how to incorporate some collage elements into these too. I don't know too much about color, so I stuck with a monotone theme. I figured blue was a good place to start.
I am busy working in the shop, but I have room to take a few orders right now. So if you are looking for anything to spruce up your garden or patio space you should get in touch with me. You can leave me comments here or send me an email: Kellensmetalart@comcast.net

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finished Road Runner

The road runner is finally done. I let it rust all the way and then used a grinder to add some detail. I then let the new markings rust. This added some really cool dimension to the bird. I went back one more time with the grinder to add a few more highlights. Then I sealed it with a matte finish clear coat. When that dried it was too reflective still, so i used some extra fine steel wool to take the shine off. 
These are the shots of the road runner from my studio. Now I am boxing it up and shipping it down to Texas. I have a feeling this isn't the last road runner that I will be building. All of my work is unique, so the next road runner would be a little different than this one. 
I am always looking for new work or projects. I also love getting inspired, so send me your questions, ideas, pictures, anything. Email me at: Kellensmetalart@comcast.net. I am on facebook too, Kellen Jay Bain, but I am not so good about keeping current on there. Hope to hear from you. Peace.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Heavy metal skull dude. I made this a couple years ago. It is a complete skull made of many small pieces welded together. This was my first attempt and I did it without having any reference photos with me. You can tell because the forehead is a little too small and slanted back. It looks more like it belongs to a Neanderthal or Homer Simpson than to a human. So eventually I would like to try and do a more accurate human skull.
Even though it didn't turn out exactly right, I still really like this piece. It is totally scary looking to have sitting around. It's also really neat because you can literally park a car on this thing and it won't break.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weird Wall

This another abstract piece that I made for my collection. I have a lot of fun doing more design oriented work like this. You can get as creative as you want to get. Imagination is very important to me.
I have made several wall mounted pieces, but this one is my favorite. I see it everyday because it is hanging on a wall in my laundry room. My laundry room is kind of crazy if you can't tell from the paint colors. The guy who lived here before me was also an artist and he left his mark throughout the house. When I moved in I just added to the weirdness.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Meep Meep!

This is the 2nd roadrunner. It's sitting on my porch right now, putting on a nice coating of surface rust. When totally covered, I will use a grinder to make markings to represent the birds feather pattern. The grinder will leave shiny marks on the rusted surface and will be like the lighter colored feathers on the roadrunner. Once I have it the way I like it I give it a clear matte finish coating of enamel.
I sandblasted this piece before putting it outside. The sandblasting took off all of the oil and mill scale on the metal, allowing it to rust much more quickly. It is already more rusty than when I took this photo a couple of days ago.
After it is all finished it is going down to Texas where a friend of mine, Jerry, will set it into a beautiful hardwood base. Jerry makes amazing custom furniture from really nice hardwoods. I am very excited to work with such a talented guy and can't wait to see our work melded together.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mini City

This is one of my very early metal sculptures. This is one of the pieces that made me realize how much I liked making art from metal.
I basically made a small, fast "sketch" of a city, just as a study. I was amazed how quickly the  small chunks of bar stock, found in the scrap bin under the saw, became "buildings" and then downtown Chicago. After this one I made two more similar pieces that were longer and had more "buildings", but this one stands out because how quickly it went together and gained life. 
Cities and buildings are interesting subject matter because of their relationship and interaction with man kind. I have just recently finished a DVD tower for my house that looks like a mini skyscraper. Maybe I will post a photo of it later.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kellen's Other Art

Hey, check out my new blog - Kellen's Other Art. I started another page to put some of my other non-metal artwork onto. I will also be posting updates on current projects under construction. This blog will remain strictly dedicated to my metal art business. The new blog will allow me to share all of my other art and music in my life.
There is a link to my new site in the side bar, or just click the title of this post.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bird Trap

I call this piece "Bird Trap". I am not sure why, but it does look like it would snag anything that got too close. 
This small piece is something I made for myself out of some small jagged pieces of scrap sheet metal. I put this composition together very quickly, on the fly, making it kind of an abstract expressionist piece. This is a fun way to work. I haven't shown this one to that many people before, but I like it. It is small and lives on a window sill in my art/music studio.
Art is fun! Please feel free to contact me whenever. Questions? Comments...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shadow Thrower Martini!

Happy New Year. Finally making a post. After a busy holiday season I got into a fight with a mutant cold/flu. It beat me up for a few days there, but I have almost gotten over it. Anyways...
Here is another piece that looks great on it's own, but with the addition of a candle comes alive. I did this one with bubbles and olives in mind, which i used to hold the strong image of the martini glass.  I let this piece rust. Then i sanded the front face of the martini to a shine, painted the olive and the booze, and covered the whole thing with a protective clear coat.
I will be updating more now, so keep checking back. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sun Lamp!

Hey. Here is another lamp. This steel and copper sunrise/sunset is wired up with a light and dimmer. It provides excellent mood lighting, as a little bit of light passes through the spaces in the copper giving it a nice warm glow. 
This is one of the first pieces that i have used this much paint on. I mixed and layered different colors of enamel to give the look of a sunset or sunrise. I will probably start to use more color in my work, because I am so happy with the way this one turned out. 
This piece already has a new home on the mantle of my grandma's fireplace. I love you Nana. I would love to do a piece like this again if commissioned. The design could be done in almost any size, smaller or much larger.
Everyone have a safe and happy New Year. Keep watching for more artwork and news.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Turkey Day! Well it's not as tasty as a turkey, it's a roadrunner. My dad wanted me to build this for him because he just moved to the southwest, and I guess these things are everywhere down there. This one is doing what they do best, running. I used to love watching the roadrunner out smart the coyote every Saturday morning. Gotta go. Meep! Meep!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Martini Lamp!

This is another lamp that i just finished. The compact florescent bulb illuminates the martini design. Why the zig-zags? Well i guess that's kind of the way you feel after drinking a couple martinis. You may notice that I have included some color in this piece. The "olive" is painted green and the "hooch" is painted pink. I thought that it would be cool to paint just the organic parts of the drink and leave the glass with the steel look. I'll bet this would look good with any color bulb in it. Personally, I really like it with this blue CFL. What's next for this series? Anybody have any cool lamp ideas?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bottle Fly

 This bottle fly is one of my early pieces. However I just recently finished it with clear enamel. I really love this one and intend to make more in the future. It's a green bottle fly made from a green bottle. These flies usually hang out in gross places and love garbage. So it made sense that garbage could be used to build one. I think that the use of the discarded bottle adds a little punch line to piece.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Love Candle

I made this for my girlfriend Christina for her birthday. I designed this candle holder to throw the shadows of the heart and scrolls onto the wall when lit. This is something I have began to work with, light and shadows interacting with my work. This piece turned out just the way I wanted it to. It looks cool when it isn't lit and it takes on a new life when the flame is introduced. The shadows twitch around as the candle flickers. I am finishing some other work right now that has the same kind of idea.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lightning Bug Lamp!

This piece is a little out of season as far as subject matter, but it is so cool. This is a lightning bug lamp. It's about 33 inches tall from base to tip of antenna. The creature has an impressive 26" wing span, and is using it to hover from the giant blades of grass. 
 It was been awaiting completion for a while, because I couldn't decide what I wanted to use for the butt. It needed to let light through and also be of a material that would contrast the steel, with the light on or off. I thought about screen, glass, and plastic. I ended up using some spare insulated wire to twine around the butt piece. Then I melted off the insulation, exposing the copper wire. I am very happy with the results. The wire gives just the right amount of coverage to reflect unwanted glare. The shiny copper seems to glow under the low-wattage incandescent bulb hidden up in the insects body.
This piece deserves a good home. It needs to be proudly displayed in someone's home, office, greenhouse... I don't have room to keep all of my work. This is kind of a big one so it needs to go. I want to make sure that whoever gets it really respects that work that went into it and will honestly enjoy the piece every time they see it. If anyone is interested in this work or has questions about commissions you can contact me at: kellensmetalart@comcast.net

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Work Work Work

  I am still hard at work in the shop. This little birdie has been waiting to be photographed. I made this oversized humming bird by request for my Aunt Becky. It hovers ready to drink some nectar from the flower, which is a botanical invention of mine. That is I didn't copy a plant from nature. I engineered one to meet my needs for the piece. Although it is trumpet shaped, like most of the flowers that humming birds actually drink from.
I like doing sculptures of things that other people like and i wouldn't usually choose to build myself. It is a good way to test my skills. I usually am very happy with the end result of the project. Sometimes to my own surprise I want to keep it for myself. 
Most of all I really like making work that my customers are really going to love. I love making people smile.
I gotta get back into the shop now. My internet/coffee break is over.