Dick Roberts Studio has been in business for many years. Originally it was exclusively a photographic studio.
Dick graduated from a world class art school, placing emphasis on photography. During his many years of working as a professional photographer, he became involved and experienced in computer graphic design, creative advertising and wood crafting, while building props and remodeling buildings for a studio presence; not to mention all of the changes he learned about during his years as a professional photographer.
Through out the years, Dick continued to stay up with technology. Dick was one of the first professional photographers to add a one hour lab to his photography studio, so that he could offer a fast turn around to his high school senior proofing for portraits; also he was one of the first to add videography to his already established still photography business, and to change from analogue video editing to all digital non-linear computer video editing. Long ago, Dick was one of the first professional photographers to leave the wet darkroom for a sun-filled computer room, and change from professional film to professional digital.
What does all of this have to do with Metal Art? Quite simply this. Dick Roberts is an artist, an innovator, a craftsman, a creator, and a doer. He didn't spend his working years as a welder or metal worker. He spent them as an artist and he has used many forms of media to express himself. More recently he has mastered the skills of designing and creating artwork in his computer, for the purpose of cutting images out of steel with a plasma cutter. He then welds, brazes or bolts them together and finishes them into a beautiful piece of Metal Art. After grinding and wire brushing the piece to make it smooth, he then finishes it by applying a special coating and/or lacquer for longevity. Everything is unique. None of his metal art pieces are exactly the same. He can make similar pieces, but they usually will have a slight difference that is only noticeable when putting them side by side. Dick has a special technique for painting copper with fire (called flame painting), to enhance the beauty of the copper.
If you are interested in owning a hand made creative piece of metal art, then go to the GALLERY and see what is there.
Dick says, "Much of the time I will sketch out a rough idea of what I am going to make, then I will continue the idea in the computer; but most of the time it continues to evolve as I get into the work. I start off by creating something in the computer to give me a guide to go by. That helps me with cutting out my shapes with a plasma cutter. This is when the shape starts coming alive. I take a part of this and a part of that and I make them into my final art piece. What is involved is, creating the design for a metal form, then cutting, drilling, brazing, welding, grinding, wire brushing, heating, melting, burning, and finishing. What starts off as a flat piece of steel and a sheet of copper can end up being a piece of my soul.
I remember the first time I went into a darkroom and saw an image come up on a piece of white paper. It was like magic. After doing it for so many years, it lost the magic and became routine. Now, when I make a metal art piece, I experience the magic again."
This is a 12" X 22" 11 gauge steel sign, that I designed and made to hang over my shop door. I cut out the two images from the same sheet of steel that I used to cut out the sign. I then layered them on the sign, to represent my two passions. Photography and Metal Art.
The text shows black from a sheet of 16 gauge steel painted black, and mounted onto the back of the sign.
The whole concept is very three dimensional.
This photo was taken in Michigan, just before Dick left for Peru, South America to film a documentary on the Amazon River.
Dick photographing high school seniors, with a temporary studio set up at a high school in Florida.
Dick teaching high school yearbook photographers camera technique; in Ohio
Dick in Peru, South America filming a documentary.
Dick in his shop.