Poppy flower fireplace tool

Poppy fireplace tool

Poppy fireplace tool buisiness end

Poppy flower fireplace tool
Photo © 2009 Kerry Wallace

This fireplace poker is part of a set inspired by the Four seasons paintings by Alphonse Mucha. It was commissioned by a couple very dear to me, Scott Hofer and Maren Christenson. They spent time together in Prague just before they decided to marry and were moved by the romance of Mucha's Art Nouveau style. They purchased a series of these images for their home. In an exchange regarding this commission my friend said, "homes and our furnishings should bear the mark of the maker; we knew that the tools would bear your mark and that's one of the reasons we asked you to make them." Art Nouveau is one of my favorite aesthetics, so this commission is pure fun. Each of the tools will represent one of the seasons. This piece, with it's copper poppy and flowing forged tresses represents summer.

Steel, copper, brass, silicon bronze

Mucha's Four Seasons

Four Seasons by Alphonse Mucha

Kameido-Tenjin Shrine Headboard

Kameido-Tenjin Shrine Headboard

Kameido-Tenjin Shrine Headboard

This headboard was designed for my mother's husband. He is a retired O.S.C (Operations Specialist Chief) for the US Navy who was stationed in Japan for 17 years. The inspiration came from his Hiroshige block print depicting a bridge that was on the grounds of the Kameido-Tenjin Shrine.

Steel, paint

Hiroshige Print

Hiroshige block print used as basis for design

Family Trees

Steel family tree

Steel family tree

Family tree designs are tailored to a client's genealogy and personal style. The primary couple is rendered in the thickest gauge material and the subsequent descendants reduce in height and/or gauge accordingly. Framed images of family members are hung from assigned branches to create a sculptural representation of the generations.

Mixed family tree

Copper, aluminum & steel family tree

Blue Thumb™ Signage

Blue Thumb sign

Blue Thumb™ sign

The educational arm of the Rice Creek Watershed District (Blue Thumb - Planting for Clean Water™ ) commissioned signage to install in participating private gardens to inform and educate people about the program. The Blue Thumb program aims to encourage homeowners to use native plant gardening, raingardens, and shoreline stabilization to reduce runoff from their home landscape in an effort improve water quality.

The design was CNC Laser cut from stainless steel plate and welded to hand-forged steel stems.

Steel, stainless steel

Detail of Blue thumb sign

Detail of Blue Thumb™ sign

Design/Build Sign

Design build sign

Design build sign

This design-build contractor's work reflected a respect for traditional arts and crafts style. He desired lawn signage with visual impact, made of durable materials and designed with his aesthetic in mind. The main steel plate was CNC plasma cut with brushed copper detailing plug welded to its surface. The tooled stainless back plate was drilled and tapped for easy removal and cleaning. The stand provides year round stability and is removable for installation directly in the ground in warmer weather.

Steel, stainless steel, copper, silicon bronze, wax

Rendering of design build sign

Design/build sign rendering © 2008 Ryan Salmon


801 address sign

801 address sign and mailbox

The home owner's interest in the celestial as a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium and Space Discovery Center and the 1950's modern flat roof architecture of her home inspired the design of this custom address sign and mailbox.

Steel, stainless steel, brass hardware, wax


3708 address sign

3708 address sign

The restoration of this turn of the century home as well as the home owners' interest in the Art Nouveau movement inspired the design of this decorative address plaque. The design was CNC plasma cut from weathered salvaged plate steel.


Dimes from Peter

Dimes from Peter

Dimes from Peter

This project was a very special one. A dear friend of mine connected me with a couple who had lost a son to cancer. They asked me to create an heirloom. We talked at length about who their son Peter was as a person. Each element of the design, from material selection to type of finish was a collaboration. All of the lettering was drawn by hand and then cut on a CNC plasma cutter. The first letter of each word contains four intertwined strands in a celtic knot representing the family. Hand forged hooks at the base hold an antique jar and journal to collect stories commemorating Peter's memory.

Steel, copper, bike chain, wax

Dimes from Peter

First look

Gauguin Table

Gauguin table

Gauguin table

The Gauguin table was commissioned by a woman with a lovely piece of wood that she had held onto for years but never had a purpose for. During our initial consultation I was struck by the framed Gauguin print (The White Horse) mounted over her fireplace. She explained that she had always loved the image and that it had belonged to her father. After his death she had taken very few item's from his estate, the print was among them. The tree in the painting became the inspiration for the plasma cut leg structure for the table.

Steel, copper, brass, wood, lacquer