Rebar Rattlers

Craft & Design

I love snakes, hand-wrought iron, and anything made from reclaimed steel (especially industrial scrap), so these forge-art serpents from artist Mark Rees of Suffolk, Virginia, pretty much made my day when I stumbled across them this morning.

Uppermost, a rattlesnake made from a piece of 1/2″ reinforcing bar; immediately above, two smaller snakes forged from smooth (right) and rough (left) ferrier’s rasps; and right, “Sunshine” the 10-foot python who modeled for the heads!

Of the process for forging the snakes, Mark writes:

The head of the snake is upset by heating to orange or hotter and clamping in a vise and pounding it; the length will decrease and the diameter will increase, this process is repeated until I have enough metal built up to form a good sized head. Once I have the head metal moved, I start working the taper on the front of the snake and the tail of the snake. Once the basic form is done, I start working the head shape. After the head is formed, it is just a process of bending and twisting until it looks like a snake that was going somewhere and was startled into a defensive position.

[Thanks, Mark & Anita!]


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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