Barkend Studios

The Great Steel Deer Project: The Design Process

First, Barbara made a small deer template, working from the original photograph of the deer. Barb's sister took the picture of the deer in her yard several years ago, and thought it woud be fun to have a large steel deer sculpture - so she commissioned us to create it for her.


From the small template, Barbara enlarged the design to the desired size for the completed deer. What you don't see is the "fun" Barbara had graphing the small design, then taping sheets of newsprint together and and creating an enlarged graph, and transferring the design to the larger graph. (Thank you to the junior high art teacher who taught that technique, more years ago than I care to remember)!



Kend transferred the design from the large paper template to the sheet steel and cut it out, using his plasma cutter. Then he worked for days, experimenting to find just the right rusty brown patina to finish the deer.

We decided our deer should have eyes, so we experimented with several techniques for making fused glass eyes in our small glass kiln. The image shows four "eyes" plus a few other items. After fusing, Kend ground the eyes to fit neatly into the "eye sockets" cut into the steel deer face.


The completed deer, with the custom-made fused glass eyes, and the "rusty" patina, which has now been protected with a coat of clear lacquer. It should look right at home in my sister's back yard!
Close-up of the completed deer head.