by MATTHEW NASH
Aspiring comic book artist Per Berg, 25, created a different man of steel over the past six months in Carlsborg.
Dave Brasher, owner of High Energy Metals, commissioned Berg to plan and piece together an intricate metal man for a display at the custom parts shop.
Berg hosts a party there on March 10 (see box) as an informal gathering to share his efforts.
Brasher said he’s been thinking about a project like this for a long time and figured Berg would be a good fit.
“It turned out pretty much as I hoped,” Berg said.
Brasher suggested a few ideas and phrases and they agreed upon the topic of exploding things together, similar to what the business does with explosive welding by forcing dissimilar metals into a bonded joint to make specialty parts.
Berg, a sculpture, writing and comic book art graduate from Evergreen College, created pages of sketches for Brasher to approve, for example, a man with an anvil head hitting his own head.
At one point, Berg sketch-ed a friend’s back because he wasn’t too familiar with back anatomy. They narrowed the sculpture to three ideas using clay models and another out of paper and straw as prototypes.
Berg worked on the metal man in the business’ off hours along with a few commissioned art pieces in his free time.
Construction involved a lot of piecework, including a wire framework. He marked individual pieces so that he’d know where each one would go in the end.
In the week leading up to the unveiling, Berg plans to finish the final piece that the metal man appears to strike.
Brasher said some of the final sculpture’s parts were created using explosives from the business’ bonding operations. He described a final piece of Berg’s sculpture as an abstract exploding sun.
Once finished, the metal man will weigh upwards of 300 pounds and be welded into an even heavier base for support.
Brasher said he’s not sure where the metal man will go. It might serve as a sign, but the business hasn’t had a sign in 10 years, he said.
After the unveiling, Berg said he’ll go back to drawing comics, working on a commission and possibly take up a seasonal job soon. He recently lived in Austin, Texas, for a year to connect with some comic book writers. In his free time, he works on various comic projects.
Berg is a 2005 Sequim High School graduate. His parents are Brian, a teacher at Sequim High School, and Trina, owner of Fiddleheads in Port Angeles.
Berg isn’t sure he’ll do a similar project again because of the expense and time involved, but he is considering graduate school in sculpture and might use the metal man for his portfolio.
Contact High Energy Metals at 683-6390.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.