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For some reason, I’m making a lot of birds lately! It’s not a conscious decision – but first it was my crow, then the peacocks (in progress), then the crane, and now it’s a Phoenix! Maybe a Phoenix doesn’t count as a bird, as it’s more of a mythological creature? But here I am making more feathers! šŸ˜€

June 2023: The Phoenix is complete! See more final photos here.

For anyone who is not familiar with the myth of the Phoenix, here’s what Wikipedia says about it, “The phoenix is an immortal bird associated with Greek mythology (with analogs in many cultures) that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.“. I love the symbology of being born out of fire to start anew! It relates to my many careers over the years and most recently my latest rebirth as a metal artist, so the flames are more than symbolic. I have also added chains to the legs of the Phoenix, from which it is breaking free. This symbolizes how we need to break free of internal and external forces to truly move forward and begin new phases of our lives.

This sculpture will also include the apparatus for a ‘ring of fire’ at the base of the sculpture to create a propane powered fire.

This post shows the progress as I worked through the piece.

June 20, 2022 – I always start with the legs of my bird sculptures to get a handle on the scale of the piece. These legs start our as rebar and I mig weld more steel to build the texture. Then I grind the texture back down to finish the effect of the scales.

Phoenix Metal Sculpture legs

July 1, 2022 – For the tail feathers, I am mostly using old saw blades. As “the Saw Lady“, I have acquired a LOT of blades over the past few years, and although I don’t search out these thin blades for my saw art, I still have dozens lying around. I love the colour and patina that each one brings to the piece.

Phoenix Metal Sculpture Tail
Phoenix Metal Sculpture tail detal

July 2, 2022 – I’m also using a mix of smaller, round saw blades to add details to the tail, and other pieces of scrap steel to the Phoenix Metal Sculpture.

Phoenix Metal Sculpture tail detail

July 3, 2022 – With the tail almost complete, I worked last night / this morning to build up the body section of the sculpture. I have a lot of shovel heads that I’ve picked up along the way, and found these were a great, solid, rounded component to use for this.

July 5th, 2022: More progress with the small feathers on the body! Can’t wait to start the wings and head!! šŸ˜€

phoenix metal sculpture welding feathers

July 6, 2022: I have most of the body done, and I want to add more rust patina to it, but progress is happening!

phoenix scrap metal sculpture by Cindy Chinn

July 9th, 2022 – I haven’t counted all of the little pieces that make up the body feathers (and I’m not sure I WANT to!) – but there’s a lot. Each one gets welded into place, then hammered flat to fit the form, and in some cases ground down to be smoother.

Phoenix Fire Metal Sculpture

July 15th, 2022 – Fly! Phoenix! Fly!! I’ve started on the wings and love the patina and flow I’m getting. šŸ˜€


July 18th, 2022 – Work continues on the wings! I’m SO glad that I designed them to be removed for shipping – because it makes a LOT easier to work on my bench and not eight feet in the air! šŸ˜€


August 1, 2022 – I am moving along with this piece and it’s really starting to look like something! šŸ˜€ Here’s a short video which summarizes my work from mid-June until this past weekend.

August 7, 2022 – Nebraska is having a bit of a heat wave, which means I’m not spending as much time in the welding shop – but I have made more progress on the wings and hope to have this completed soon! šŸ˜€

Phoenix Metal Sculpture by Cindy Chinn

August 11, 2022: I finished the wings last night and took the sculpture out from some fresh air and to see the light! šŸ˜€ I’m working on the head now and then the glass eyes for it. I should be done with the sculpture within a week! šŸ˜€

August 14, 2022 – I made the glass eyes last night and was able to finish the head! šŸ˜€ Next step is to attached it to the body and I’ll almost be done! (until I add the burner at the base).

Phoenix Metal Sculpture from Scrap

August 31, 2022: Now that I have the head attached, I need to finish up a few details and then attach the sculpture to its permanent base, which will have a propane fire ring.

Phoenix Metal Sculpture by Cindy Chinn

September 7, 2022: Here is more of a full shot with the head attached! Next I’ll need to add the Phoenix to the fire ring base.

Scrap metal art Phoenix sculpture

September 11, 2022: I have built and am testing the propane fire ring which will be in the base of the sculpture. I still have more work to do before I can mount the Phoenix on the fire base.

October 7, 2022 – I had a hoist added to my shop, and finally got my Phoenix on the base and was able to do a test fire!


Latest Photo: October 16, 2022 – In between other projects I’m working on the propane part of the Phoenix. Here’s a test run showing me light it up!

Phoenix Metal Sculpture

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