Thoughtful and generous, our Class has established a Student Emergency Fund for University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine students who find themselves in sudden need of financial assistance.
It made me think. Reflect, really.
And so I have a proposition: if you make a contribution to this fund, then I will make a Class of 1978 belt buckle for you, free of charge.
My small sculptures and fabrications are made by me, one-at-a-time, from recycled metals, using hand tools and traditional jeweler’s methods. Designs emphasize basic shapes and colors. Detail is almost always avoided because, once started, how can there be an end to it?
This 1978 project was a sharp deviation in course because it is all detail. So instead of making models from the usual clay or salt etched steel, I used my countertop 3D printer.
Hand drawings were developed in PowerPoint, augmented in Paint 2D, imported into 3D Builder where they were reconstructed, then sliced and exported via PhotonWorkshop through an Anycubic LED UV resin printer (Siraya Tech, Sculpt, high temperature). Printed circle models were embedded in rubber under pressure and heat to make a mold for pewter casting. Replicas were filed, sanded, and refined. The caduceus model was enveloped in latex, an epoxy replica was cast then extracted and embedded in silicone, then replicated once more in wax. Waxes were invested in plaster for casting. Bronzes were filed, sanded, and refined.
Buckle parts were assembled with torch and solder, darkened with mineral acid, sanded, and smoothed to a soft shine by tumbling in soap and stainless-steel shot. Hand rubbed with a beeswax and turpentine mixture, the buckle was buffed and the work was finished.
Signed by me, 2.25 inches diameter. Gold bronze, pewter, nickel, brass.
This buckle is partnered with a full grain buffalo leather belt, lifetime guaranteed (my lifetime, not yours). Buffalo is thicker, softer, more flexible, stronger, and resists abrasion better than cow leather. Read more about your 1.5 inch wide buffalo leather belt here.
Note: Belt size is waist size in inches, plus 2.
Free domestic shipping. USPS First Class, tracked, insured.
I personally make everything. When in the studio, it might take a few days. If I am in the field, then it will be a few weeks or months.
I use the eco-friendly practice of recycling at the center of my business of making unique artisan belt buckles. Becoming a belt buckle is the 3rd life for many of these metals. My design and fabrication was awarded and displayed at the First World Campion Belt Buckle Competition.
Working partnerships include Orvis in their Commit 5% For Conservation including the Everglades’ Now or Neverglades program, Trout Unlimited to Preserve Bristol Bay, and the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust to fund permit/tarpon/bonefish research studies.
Like the Trout Unlimited effort, there are ways to join in with conservation groups to slow the mining for rare earth elements- especially lithium- at sites such as Sheep Creek Montana and Halleck Creek Wyoming because new technology promises to provide far superior batteries that are made with common readily available materials such as iron, aluminum, sulfur, and salt that can, in turn, be easily recycled. Why permanently tear up the earth and destroy fisheries today for a material technology that will be obsolete in just a few years?
.....and one more thing.
My grandparents were tenant sharecropper cotton farmers in Louisiana. My father told me many stories about their lives, and growing up poor. He said that the family was as poor as any around them with one exception: they had a cow.
So, when it came time for me to find a leather belt to partner with my buckles, I thought long and hard about sources.
While the tempation was strong to buy my leather from a fellow in Alabama, I again thought about the families where the difference between poor and poorer was having a cow. That condition is gone from the American landscape.
And that is why I decided upon water buffalo for my leather. Sure, buffalo leather is superior to cowhide. But, it is also part of the sustainability and recycling ethos, and a source of cash for a family that often has little or none. So, I happily turned to buffalo hides from farms in India/Myanmar/Thailand/Cambodia to pair with my work.