Artist Cal Lane Transforms Industrial Objects into Intricate Lace Sculptures

by , 05/22/11

Cal Lane, eco design, eco-art, green design, industrial salvage, Recycled Materials, sustainable design, Sustainable Materials

Lane was raised on Vancouver Island, where she studied fine art and, later, welding. But instead of traditionally using the method to join two pieces of metal together, she employed her painting training, and began using her blow torch as a subtractive tool, slowly burning pieces of steel away to reveal patterns. A believer of extremes, she combined her methods with opposing materials to further understand the relationship between comparing and contrasting.

After 2005, her focus on making shovels and dumpsters into pretty objects had shifted to have a somewhat more political tone.  Feeling like a “guilty bystander” in the time of our war for oil, Lane’s newer body of work uses cast off oil drums and smaller cans as her medium.  The cans are skinned and splayed out in cross-shapes or made to look like Gothic cathedral floor plans. Even more literal was her exhibition “Crude”, in which Lane plasma-cut a map of the world into a large oil tank for a result that was simultaneously beautiful and powerful. She also created a 1000 gallon Lace Oil Tank, complete with fabricated cut “Oil Spill.”

Most recently, Lane has undertaken an ambitious project that greatly exceeds her previous scale of work. She has been commissioned on a large project to use her lace technique on an old 62 foot Soviet submarine that has been left to rot in Montenegro. With this new focus and tone, Lane’s work effectively addresses our world’s problem of war and oil exploitation, while her materials emphasize her drive for conservation and sustainability.

Photos © Foley Gallery

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  1. Susan Werb October 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    beautiful, meaningful and profound and so skillful! I really appreciate the artistry, medium and message :)

  2. whistlersheart May 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Cal Lane…..when in art school I had to take welding. I did a
    thing of joining stuff found in the metal shop… didn’t work because all the metals were different. To make it work I used the bubble of the weld on all the flat surfaces throughout the whole thing and that unified it…….I think what you are doing is just wonderful and thoughtful on many levels. Congratulations for having the creativity in you to have thought of this.

  3. TKURILLA April 13, 2011 at 7:36 am

    beautiful, love it using metal that is considered waste and make it Art.

  4. rate ferrum April 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Nice work. See: rate ferrum or watch for more info on what can be accomplished with a plasma torch.

  5. frtydon March 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    her creativity and vision are wonderful. real job my ass. to create is the only vocation anyone should have. some people make things that transcend things, but then lazyreaders probably know nothing about that

  6. lazyreader March 8, 2011 at 7:58 am

    If people want to pay money for shovels that don’t work, give Pottery Barn or Pier One a call.

  7. alysse February 15, 2011 at 1:14 am

    arghh, I can’t believe someone said real job. Really irks me when people think being an artist isn’t a job. I am a an artist and worked with my husband as business partners for 15 years, he passed away from cancer last year and his family told me now i needed to get a real job, you know 9-5 in an office. Despite the fact we were true partners and the business was still intact. I even told them I can make more on 1 project than most of them make in a year. I was just amazed at how some people think. This work is wonderful and us creative thinkers are needed as much if not more than others, because someone creative person is the one that came up with work for those people with “real” jobs.

  8. andrewhreiss February 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    are not the creative thinkers the ones who have made all that we count on today, from the ones who figured out how to get the oil, given us electricity, modern living, etc, etc, etc. without creative thinkers we’d still be wearing animal skins. what we all need to to is learn how to support one another, conserve what we do have, not abuse anything. here in this country (US) we are too fortunate, from rich to the poor and have the right to live how we want to, all the while all our governments waste so much. let us really think about who is not contributing the the greater good of humanity. what Cal Lane is doing is beautiful. more people should try to do the same.

  9. studiobound February 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    not all artists are broke nor without real jobs. as noted above she has commissioned a large scale work which means she is gainfully employeed and most likely doing something she loves with the probability that her work gives others pleasure too. That indeed is a real job, and one that permits the fine art educated mind to step out of the four walled artificial air cubicle. good for her!

  10. Max Katz February 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    What are real jobs?The biggest industries in this country involve entertainment,actually just wasting time. There are only a few people who are actually do processes or make things necessary to sustain life.A few hundred thousand could feed all of this country and a lot of others.We need infrastructure -bridges,roads etc but there isn’t money for that.We spend it on professional sports, crap movies, reality shows etc. So, if a creative person can make money and enjoy creating interesting objects and ideas what is the harm?

  11. worriedwelderwatcher January 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    girl needs some protection from that arc!

  12. lazyreader January 13, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Consumerism? These products would not exist if not for consumers willing to spend. If she sells them like any broke artist would, how is that…………? Anyway, in another article prior, Inhabitat showcased an affordable dwelling for artists. Something they wouldn’t need if they they had real jobs.

  13. usledsupply staff January 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Wow what a neat way to create art- while at the same time not buying into our consumerism society.

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