Thursday, August 26, 2010

For Those Who Doubt, In Progress - Stage 1.

I'm deep in the journey of making a sculptural object, and I'd like to get it up here for all of you.

About a year ago I was invited to donate a piece made from a very specific piece of trash: an old hubcap. My old friend Boris Bally had put them on to me. The organization,, was sending artists re-chromed trashed hubcaps to turn into art and send back. The resulting exhibition and publication would raise awareness about recycling (not that recycling needs much more awareness nowadays, but a great cause nevertheless).

My stipulation was two-fold: that the hubcap be from as old a car as possible, and that it not be re-chromed. Ken Marquis, the orchestrator of this project (now grown to a whopping 1,041 artists worldwide!) personally sent me his oldest hubcap. What a beauty.

I'm off and running...

The old V8 hubcap - I'm guessing about 1939?

What a logo. The deepness of the bowl allows me to make an interior environment. I don't want to lose the logo, so that'll have to be part of the design.

Luckily my brother is a big-time master electrician on Broadway - I've been saving these follow-spot lenses he gave me for about 20 years, using them as the opportunity presents. Thanks, Mike!

Look at this fit. The dome is even the same curvature as the lens. Time to get cutting.

I've designed the shape to be cut away. This'll be tough work, as I'm dealing not only with two pieces (the silver decorative cap and the underlying heavy steel hubcap), but both these pieces are curved. I've also decided to flip the orientation of the piece, so the logo will essentially read as an "A".

Ready to cut.

The outer cap is fairly straight-forward.

The main cap - is not. No saws are up to it, so it has to be ground away.

Back indoors after the grinding.

After choosing a title, I set about etching it into heavy brass and designing it to arch over the opening I've cut in the cap.

Sawing it out.

The tabs that were cut on the bottom are bent around to create 'eyes' through which a heavy wire will run. Only the center tab remains straight, to go through the hubcap itself.

Ready to mount.

Wired into place. Notice the tabs I'd left on the silver cap are now curled back to hold more wire around the circumference of the lens.

Three of these wires will pierce the hubcap and lock the lens in place.

Next week: The interior assembly comes together, centerpieced with another of my new large fused-glass images.




  1. Love love love that etched brass!
    cant wait to see the rest of it :)

  2. As usual Keith your work is amazing and also breathtaking.....your problem solving and thinking ahead skills are so refined!......I admire these qualities to a very high degree!!
    I look forward to finding out just what will be included and how the objects will be attached into the interior assembly ;-)

  3. Wow this is so cool, cant wait to see it all complete, just take your eyes off my 1969 VW bug hub caps ok...LOL

  4. Ooo, looks really nice! I'm definitely curious about next chapter :D

  5. Thanks for sharing with us. Love the sawed out design and tabs. As usual, brilliant!

  6. WOW this is going to be interesting. I just happen to have lots of extra hubcaps laying around:)
    Don't you just love it when something that you have been saving for years finds its home?

  7. Oh No Do I have to wait a week? I just *LOVE* watching your pieces form. You are so AMAZING Mr LoBue!

  8. My father lost one of those hubcaps off his 1939 Ford V8 and I know what he'd be saying right now!!!

  9. NOOOOOO I hear my husband Yell not the hudcap he is a car man Keith.I cant wait to see what you come up with this time Mr Lobue.

  10. Fascinating to watch the process and the piece come together.

  11. wow man your work is amazing...Please have a look at my husbands work that I posted today on my blog...I think you’d enjoy two have alot in common...cheers, Cynthia

  12. Sensational piece. I love watching the proces of something ordinary becoming something special.

  13. Brilliant. I've just applied to join this project too. How excellent!