Design Inspiration – Cal Lane

Metal into Lace

Recently introduced to Cal Lane’s sculpture, I was blown away by the juxtaposition of hard, industrial and rusty vs. delicate and feminine. I realize that I am on a “rust” kick lately and that is probably why my friend passed Lane’s artwork on to me. What stops me in my tracks is how she even begins to envision these pieces in the first place.

Lane’s work is currently showing at Philadelphia University at The Design Center in an exhibit called “Lace In Translation”.  Quoted from the show catalog, “Lane is intrigued by contrasts in feminine and male conventions, and uses her welding torch to cut doilies and baroque patterns into mundane objects such as wheel barrows, I-beams, dumpsters and shovels.  These objects, once relied upon for their durability, are transformed via oxyacetylene torch into delicate and decorative skeletons.”

drum 1




From her Artist Statement: “I like to work as a visual devil’s advocate, using contradiction as a vehicle for finding my way to an empathetic image, an image of opposition that creates a balance – as well as a clash – by comparing and contrasting ideas and materials.”


I Beam

“I beam”  Oxy-Acetylene cut steel I beams, 2002


2 Shovels

“2 Shovels” Plasma cut steel shovels, 2007



“Wheelbarrow”  Plasma cut steel wheelbarrow, 2005


“In another process, Lane borrows a tradition from her grandmother who sifted powdered sugar through a stencil to create a powdered print on cakes. Lane adapted this domestic technique to her industrial art form by sifting soil and other medium through large pieces of her torched metal lace stencils to create graphic patterns that can recall the Indian tradition of henna painting.”



“Powdered Tires” Icing sugar on tires, 2005


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2 comments on “Design Inspiration – Cal Lane

  1. Poppy… this is an absolutely FANTASTIC post!What an amazing visual treat! I love it!Thank you!

  2. Laura Watson’s avatarLaura Watson on said:

    My Alma Mater, I hadn’t heard about this though. Thanks for sharing. Too bad my timing will be off when I go down to Philly for easter in a couple weeks.

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