Client: Phil Hardt
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $4,000
Sculpture by Bruce Gray
My client on this project is a friend who works in the film industry. He asked me about building him an amazing and unique coffee table. I suggested something made from gears, and since he had sources for props through his film connections, he went out and found a box of old rusty gears for me to use. He gave me no instructions on design, except that the final dimensions including glass be around 16x48x24. I welded all the gears from the bottom only to give the table the look of something that might function.
On this project, I was allowed to create what I thought would be an amazing piece, without any influence in any way. The client loves my work, and trusted me to make him something he would love. He did not see the table until it was finished, and he was extremely pleased with it.
I built this table completely by myself. The only other person involved was my client Phil Hardt, who went out and found a very interesting batch of old industrial gears at a ship yard in Long Beach. Building this was an arduous and time consuming task. It took 6 days of grinding with a disk grinder and wire wheel just to clean all the various coatings, rust, grease, wax etc off the various old gears. Then each gear would have to be clamped and welded from the bottom only, to keep the visible side clean and unaltered looking. It was a challenge to keep the gears at the proper horizontal or vertical plane, and this grew more difficult as the project continued and got heavier and more difficult to move around. In the end, I was extremely pleased with the appearance of this unique sculptural table. Despite using such heavy industrial parts, because of the way I attached them, it has an almost delicate appearance.
I have been a sculptor since 1989, and this table is one of my favorite projects I have done. It actually came out way better than I thought it would or could. This is because I really took the time to make studied decisions every step of the way. I knew that I only had one shot to get it right, so I really went after this project like it was sort of a chess game.