The Art of Refabrication


Fabricated parts—metal structures formed by cutting, bending, and assembling—are the underpinnings of modern life. They include everything from the steel girders that support our buildings to the oven rack that allows the bread to rise. As new technology makes old technology obsolete, lots of fabricated parts end up in the scrap yard, where Madeleine Lord finds them and refabricates metal into art. 

Madeleine, a Boston-based artist, grew up in the Steel Belt and is not intimidated by the scrap yard, the oxy-acetylene torch, or trying to make music out of a mess of steel parts. I asked Madeleine how she got her start in welding. She explained, “I had been making large woodcut prints and began working with sheets of steel because it was less expensive than paper. My first metal works were images created by cutting into flat steel sheets with a torch. My work is more three-dimensional now and I use “found” steel scrap, which I carefully select. [For a look at how Madeleine “shops” for her raw material, see “Jiffy Art” by Katherine Russian, www.youtube.com/ watch?v=GngB_pVpmCQ.] I love old gears, machine parts, things that were manufactured with precision to serve a specific purpose. These recognizable parts appear in my sculpture but as something else entirely.”

... to continue reading you must be subscribed

Subscribe Today

Paywall Asset Header Graphic

To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.

Please wait...