by Bonnie Heinecke
I was born in Belvidere, IL. At a young age I moved to Northeast Missouri where I grew up, attended school, and still live today with my husband Paul. We started a woman owned welding business 20+ years ago here in Paris, MO. After many years of just welding, I decided that I wanted to contribute a little more to the business and started the Metal Art side of my business. I have been doing this for about 14 years now and thoroughly enjoy creating pieces from thoughts and memories that I have had, as well as making someone else’s thoughts and memories into a work of art that will last a lifetime and can be handed down for generations.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WHAT I DO:
I start the process with either drawing a picture from a thought or memory I have had or been given, or from photos that customers would like to have made for them. I then draw it out. When the drawing looks to be what the customer and I want, I then take it out to the shop.
The next step is to start by taking a 4X8 sheet of 16 gauge steel and transferring the drawing to the steel. Once the drawing has been transferred, I then take a plasma cutter and begin the process of cutting out the drawing/artwork. The artwork is then taken to the grinding table to be ground down to a smooth finish.
After the artwork has been ground I then decide whether I want the artwork, rusted, painted, heat-painted or if I can use various colored dyes on it. This is also decided by the customer on custom orders.
If it is to be rusted, it is put through an acid wash process, neutralize it, and then powder coated with a clear poly grade powder coat that has a UV protection in it for durability, to be used indoor or outdoor use. The powder coated item is then put into a 420 degree oven for 25-45 minutes, ( depending on the type of powder coat).
If it is painted, it is hung, airbrushed with a powder dye, that is mixed with acetone, to the color specified by either the customer or myself. These items are also powder coated. We also have a wide variety of color powder coats as well to choose from instead of doing clear over the dye method.
If it is heat-painted, it is ground again with a flapper disc until shiny then heated with a propylene torch slowly to prevent warping and to give it the beautiful gold, blue, purple, iridescent effect. Those are then powder coated clear, to hold the color and so that they never have to be maintained as in all the above processes.
After the artwork has made it through one of the above processes, it is ready for shipment or for me to bring to the customers by participating in area art and craft shows.
Located in the Spring Market F4,5 at the 2019 Springtime in the Country – Hamburg