Welcome to ornametalironworks.com
"First be sure you are wrong, and then go ahead." - mb
Photo by Sadie Hazelkorn in Joshua Tree, California. 2015
This site is a creation of the Artist, Mark Bulwinkle. It shows some of the
work he considers "ornamental," or ornametal, created for clients for
domestic use in and around their houses. The imagery used in these pieces
is usually personal, having to do with the client, and always harvested
from Mr. Bulwinkle's image library, a collection of varmints, critters, and
people he has been inventing in his head for over forty-five years now.
If you are curious what his work might cost, please e-mail
Mark Bulwinkle at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
"The City" was created in 1993 for the Liz Claiborne store in San Francisco.
This work, measuring 8' x 12', was created with an even earlier Bulwinkle
style in mind. It's shape conforms to the stairway leeding to the second floor of
that store. Currently owned by a private art collector in the Bay Area.
Click on "The City" for a much larger view!
Pink nosed alligator sneeze guard glass holders for an organic salad bar. Can
anything be too mundane for the artist to do? I seem to think not. September 2015.
A beloved family dog at the top of a twenty foot pole somewhere in the
the Napa Valley twenty years ago.
"A Mermaid with all the happy ship yard riggers inside"
Flame cut steel from 1986, 8 x 30 ft, in some shiney glass buiding in San Francisco, Ca.
Err, speaking of (stray) dogs, click on this picture of these four fearless canines for more pictures.
The spirit of Bulwinkle is alive somewhere in Minnesota.
DogCar tin can cut out racing in a breakfast nook window in Emeryville, California.
Bulwinkle tin can jewelry modeled by Eva Soltes of Harrison House.
Upset about the high cost of fine art framing? Well, just wear it, like Dominique.
A young man e mailed me and asked if I might make a screen for his girlfriend for her birthday.
Since his girlfriend was a graduate of Wavy Gravy's Camp Winnarainbow, he wanted the subject
to contain th Winnarainbow emblem. Now, normally, I don't do that kind of thing. I do what I want
to do and I don't take suggestions or orders from anybody. People get what I give 'em. However, I
thought about this one instead of instantly deleting it. Knowing that Wavy was a long time fan of my work
and then remembering all those years back for me when love was a sweet and beautiful thing
lighting my way to a bright future instead of a radiuactive monster to be feared which, face it,
it can become in old age, I agreed to make a screen for the happy young couple, but only if
I could make whatever I wanted t make.. The young man agreed, and above is what came out.
To soften any self inflicted blow which might occur from such a project, I recalled that
perfectly dreadful Paul McCartney tune from the seventies which will have to have contributed so
very much to my generation's impending dimentia. "Nice," I thought. I like it. "Very nice." mb, 2015
And then this "shard" piece from about 1985 owned and cared for by a family in Orinda, California.
The only other patron who considered these of interest was Bill Gates, who purchased eight from
a show in Portland, Oregon. He distributed them here and there on the Microsoft campus,
so I am told. A rest from the tyranny of technology, I wonder?
This too, below, from Orinda, California, mid to late 90s.
Its the latest, its the greatest. Most recent cut-with-a-torch
sheet metal sconce for a Portland, Oregon family. July, 2015. Rock on.
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
For the same residence in Portland, Oregon, I created a sconce for the
front door. Flatbar, tin can sheet, Indian Mica and Rustoleum.
A big thing in a small package. Happiness on a cold rainy day.
A jewel for a home in the great Northwestern United States. July, 2015.
Image for T shirt for long distance swimmer in New York. Click on the Mermaid
to see more tin can cut-outs of swimmers swimming.
A friendly green ceramic flower to greet the Mail Lady on her rounds
in Baltimore, Md. And in the lovely young couples bedroom, a stoneware
harbinger of the future - "I love you forever you Bastard." Those things
can be lethal when hurled from close range.,
Residential parlor light, site specific, 1997, about four feet deep.
Hand cut steel and photo translucent plastic. San Francisco, Ca.
Residential ceiling light, over the pool table, about 40" long, 1997.
Site and client specific hand cut steel and photo translucent plastic.
San Francisco. Ca. and, below, a lighted mirror for a horse-woman in Montana.
Below are examples of a lamp created for a client in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The dimensions
of this lamp are about eight feet in diameter by, as I recall, four or five feet deep. It
dominates the family room of a very large "mud" house, a type of building material and architecture
common to the arid Western United States. The lamp was conceived as a sort of poem to Santa Fe which
by then, the mid nineteen-nineties, had coopted so much of my cut steel "look" and called it their own.
So, it was an odd and not entirely pleasant experience to be saluting a genre that was actually
at one time simply known as "Bulwinkle." Materials used are aluminum, steel, and Indian mica.
Below, a bird sconce for that same house and...
leather being sewn on a railing, also in Santa Fe.
Below, I admire my Dunstall Norton in 1979. A very inspiring piece of metal also.
Below, Bolinas window spirits. On the surface of every tin can is a spirit waiting to run free.
The next time you casually open a can of soup, think of this; not too long ago that simple
can was just a few spoonfuls of dirt. So treat those dear cans with respect so as not to anger
the can spirits imprisoned within. They may visit you some day. 2015, Marky B.
And, below, a cube lamp for someone twenty years ago somewhere in ... Texas?
2014, Octagon Lamp, just completed at the studio, ready to go to San Francisco.
Black iron frame, stainless steel figures, orange Indian mica.
Capucinos for two in North Beach
Cable car in sanded stainless steel.
Birds in tule marsh in the bay.
A mule? A horse? One must start these things somewhere.
The artist, "M", in his comutoicopter , flying in a fog, as usual.
My client, John, in his dog. (All men are dogs?) Woof.
Sailboat on the bay.
Lauren and The Dogs in Santa Fe on the Cactus Bench, created about the same time
she was born. Photo taken by the doting dad, who is a very distant relation to the smiling dogs.
Above: Seven exterior sconces on the Peninsula below San Franciscofor a private home. 2012
Below: Four stainless steel radiator shields for an apartment overlooking San Francisco Bay. 2014
Two ceiling lamps, faux bamboo, flat black frame, stainless steel over Indian mica.
Lamps are piano hinged for easy bulb access. July, 2014. Site and client specific.
1/4 scale model for a public art proposal. Guarded now by a Clayton Baily
tobacco spit monster out in the Pecos River section of my garden. Street Lighting.
How do I keep the cat out of my bedroom? A cat door, of course.
Below, Angel Cat on a wall somewhere in San Francisco.
Below, "Rescue Dogs" gate, Moterey, Ca. 2014, Also site and client specific.
Click on the picture above for more dogs.
Below, six lights for a bedroom ceiling.
Above: "Good Morning!", 2006, Piedmont Ave. district., Oakland, Ca.
Dog door, 2006, Piedmont Ave. district, Oakland, Ca.
A small lamp for computer people 2008
House spirits, somewhere near Piedmont Ave., Oakland, Ca.
Beauty and the beholder in the California Desert (Eva Soltes photography)
The Altenberg Gate. Steel. For more detailed pictures click on the image
of this site/family specific gate created in 2008/09, in Kensington, California.
A garden gate for Barney Ward of Davis, California. About 4ft. x 4ft, made from
rebar and plate steel and painted black. 2008
Barney Ward's Garden Gate with story as told by his brother Richard.
The above eight pictures are from The Purple Bluegrass House in North Oakland, Ca. 2005
1989, Crow Canyon Shopping Center, San Ramone, Ca.
"Maria's," created with the best tradition of Mexican iron work in mind. 2012
Haircut anyone? 2011, Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, Ca.
A bathroom in Joshua Tree, California awaiting grouting.
Composed and tiled by Perry Hoffman of MagentaRaven.
Bulwinkle tile inserts in a commercially tiled floor somewhere on Shattuck Ave.,
Berkeley, California, USA.
West Berkeley, California antique(square) rebar fence 2007
Flying home, 2008, West Berkeley, California.
Welcome Back, 2006, West Berkeley, California.
Mike Dore's house, North Berkeley, California. 1992
Mike Door's Garden Gate, North Berkeley, California. 1992
Restaurant door, steel painted black, about 4 ft. x 8ft. Berkeley, Ca. 2009
Trinity St. Gate, Kensington Hills, Ca. 2012
Gnomes? Sure, Bulwinkle does gnomes.
Whatzis? You tryna learn me somethin? Click on "Plato's Cave" and see if it be true.
Jumpin' Java Coffee Shop, Berkeley, Ca. 2013. A sunny day in paradise.
Click on the picture to see more details of Mike's Jewel in the Crown of Shattuck Ave.
Bamboo plumbing pipe hand rail in the Elmwood District of Berkeley, Ca. 2010
Old galvanized steel bamboo railing somewhere in Oakland, California. 2016
Galvanized steel heartfelt handrail with Bulwinkle tiles. Somewhere in Oakland. 2016
Scary guard fish in the window.
The Mal of the house.
Meanwhile, over in Alameda, a reject handle and an ancient Bulwinkle fish from 1978
mounted on a brand new redwood gate.
Up in them thar Berkeley Hills, a giraff eating a crab apple.
And a cactus handle.
Steel Bamboo in the Berkeley Hills.
The Willard Middle School. A pro-bono job. 1994 and still there.
Richard Ward's office at The Dry Garden Nursery, Oakland, Ca. 2004
Big Happy Sun on Shattuck Ave. at the Dry Garden Nursery, 1992
The following several photos are of pieces created in 2014 for the Mad Monk,
or as many know it, the old Cody's Books on Telegraph Ave. In Berkeley,
California. Also, The steel bamboo railing was designed, fabricated, and
installed by me, rusty old Mark Bulwinkle.
Robert Oppenheimer, one time Berkeley resident and director of the creation
of the first atomic bomb. Here, now-I-am-become-death-Bob is overlooked by the beautiful
Sadie. May she and her generation never have to know the dubious blessings
of atomic power, as my generation and the previous one had.
Mario Savio, in his socks!, adressing the crowd at Sproul Plaza in 1964. Mario
cracked the egg that Grover Norquist is still trying to glue back together.
Robert Oppenheimer with pipe and atomic bomb epaulets in front of important
computations and a message from Einstein! "Oyvey! Now you've done it, Oppie."
Mario, having thrown himself on the gears of the merciless machine, Amazonas.
Ken, as coquistadore, taming the blond amazon warriors with an offering of pizza!
Malcolm Margolin, publisher, writer and Berkeley character. "There comes a time
in everyone's life when they just want to make a difference." He did, writing
and publishing in 1978 what the San Francisco Chronicle named as one of the one hundred
most important books of the twentieth century, The Ohlone Way.
Mark Bulwinkle, scrap head, torch tunged, inventor of rust, and the
creator of this work at The Mad Monk. "Is he still alive?" Apparently.
A beautiful two sided grouted psychco-ceramic sun flower. These plants used to
grow all over Berkeley on almost every street and in any back yard!
Julia Vinograd, the infamous Bubble Lady and Berkeley poet. A true artist in the
tradition of Walt Whitman, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and Ina Coolbirth. Hope
for humanity lives on with people like Julia.
Laurie Sarachan, amidst blooming beer can flowers, as Tzarina of Telegraph Ave.
Rasputin with pizza and vinyl record and flowers growing from his tzar cap.
Nice hair, Rasp man.
Moe Moskcowitz, a man of letters and the creator of Moe's Books, the internationally
admired book store, two doors away. Moe is gone but his wonderful book store, with
daughter Doris at the helm, sails on. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, kid."
Art 101: Carefully select the venues in which you show your work.
"Your art career can suffer only so many merciless humiliations." - Marcel Duchamp
Carol White Gate, San Francisco, Ca., stainless steel on rust, constructed and installed
about 2005. Inside view.
Carol White Gate, outside, street side, rust with marsupials in rust.
Bob Clark gate, Oakland hills, built around 1993. The Twin Suns Gate.
Lifshez gate, Oakland hills. Constructed in 1982. Gate moved to this location,
an architectural landmark, and the house was modified to fit the gate.
Laundry-room-chorus-security bars in Berkeley. Nothing is too mundane for this artist.
Twin New Zealand Door Panels. As always, hand cut steel.
And below, a couple of smaller window screens. 2015
Below, same client as above, four door screens. About six by eight feet. Hand cut improvised flora of New Zealand also serve as a measure of security.
Above, 2015, hand cut steel for a home in San Francisco, California
And below, recent (2015)sconces for The Mad Monk on illuminate a wall on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California
Above and below, hand cut and painted steel railing. Ten feet of seventy feet. Berkeley, California. All made to code.
Below is a project I did in 1995 for a toddlers park in LosGatos, California, Dolores Huerta's old home town. The imagery is deliberately simple
and brightly colored. There were considerable design compromises to which I agreed in order to accommodate the fears of certain city council
members of the City of San Jose. Really, though, I think a baby chicken is a poor substitute for Dolores's favorite bird, the Farmworkers'
great and defiant black eagle. Also, it seemed a bit much to cut the udders from the cow. Do adults really think toddlers do not recall where
milk comes from besides the dairy case at the supermarket? Or is that just politicians? Otherwise, I hope the kids have liked it their fence critters.
Dolores Huerta Todlers Park in Los Gatos, California
Below, Malcolm X School project in Berkeley, California
Rivka and three of her students at Malcolm X School in Berkeley, Ca. Rivka
teaches the students at Malcolm X about how our food grows. The three rusty
figures (of twenty) in back were cut out and mounted by Mr. Bulwinkle. The
students designed them and Mr. Bulwinkle facilitated their imaginations with
steel. One of the artist's favorite projects. Life can feel good sometimes.
(A little story cut from steel)
Bulwinkleland in 1980
Bulwinkle's first gate, constructed for his old house in the Rockridge district
of Oakland, Ca. around 1978. Boiler tube and cut-out negative shapes.
Waste not, want not. This gate rests in a garden in the Elmwood district now,
far away from the Ship Yards of San Francisco, Ca. where Bulwinkle practiced
a trade he had learned after earning an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute
in 1973. In the ship yard he realized that the world of sculpture in steel need not be
such a macho male oriented art form. With actual skill, it was possible to bring to
steel sculpture a certain delicacy at the time associated with feminine qualities. Skill with
this craft also seemed to him to enable story telling and elaborate gestural figure
making with steel, something that he felt had never been done, probably because
no artist had ever invested the time necessary to actually learn the skill of
welding and burning and combining it with a rambunctous
and educated eye for good graphic design. Some might say, however,
that Bulwinkle was just too lazy to figure out how to dislodge his foot
from his mouth, so to speak.
"Boo-Kay" on Hollis St., Emeryville, California. Click on the image to see more.
Emblem created for Eva Soltes of Harrison House, Joshua Tree, USA
The Maybeck 1 (Sack House) gate in the Berkeley Hills. A suitable gate for
a much treasured California architectural landmark. Constructed from rebar
salvaged from the 1989 earthquake collapse of the I-880 overpass virtually
in Mark's back yard. This gate weighs about 3000 pounds and much of it was
built on site along with an extensive garden railing fashioned from the same
salvaged material. A younger man's sport, this work is entirely welded
with 7018 electrode by the artist, who worked professionally as a welder
and burner in West Coast American ship yards for twelve years of his life.
God on the kitchen ceiling of a bungalow in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, California - 1975
Poster for the American composer Lou Harrison in mid 1980's
Mark Elliott Bulwinkle in his well apportioned living room / entertainment center.
"I'yam what I'yam. I'yam Popeye the Sailor Man." West Oakland, California. 2005