Sculptors, printers some of talent at Lowe Mill

Human form that fascinates talented sculptor, Everett Cox.
Human form that fascinates talented sculptor, Everett Cox.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Walk into the creative venue of sculptor Everett Cox and it's like moving through the looking glass into the land of bronze.

"I do figurative work, make the molds and then the castings," said Cox.

With farmers, engineers and painters in his family he's been exposed to "making things" all his life. A beautiful bronze bell "tolls" in the corner with a majestic demand of urgency, but it's the human form that fascinates this talented sculptor.

"There's nothing like it! The fire that melts metal is not like any other kind. You know, it's like it's alive! And it's just a cool thing to be around," he said.

He said at age 10 he was making led soldiers from an aluminum mold.

"Portraits are psychological. You're trying to capture the essence of that person," added Cox.

A few doors down, printing is taking an old job and turning it into a new art form. Studio Manager Rachel Lackey reveals several different processes.

"This is our exposure unit for our screen printing," she said. "It's basically a light box, but it has a row of white black lights in their UV bulbs, and so when we create screens for screen printing, we coat them with a photo emulsion that's light sensitive, and once it's dry, we put a transparency on there," she said.

She showed specifics as to how the process works.

"This is a four colored T-shirt we did for Madison Street Festival last year, so each color has to have its own screen," said Lackey.

They not only do screen printing; they also use a huge printing press to take something old and make it new again.

"It's going to ink itself right now. This machine is a hundred years old. And it's a Chandler and Price patent letter press," said Lackey.

It takes handset metal type, but this is no ordinary print shop. A rubber based ink on the old press takes a long time to dry. Several different types of printing are available here. On the printer each letter must be handset.

"Everything on this machine is made of cast iron, lead and steel and it heavy, but it's really fun to keep that history alive," said Lackey.

She said there is something about it that her clients really love.

"People really want to go back to that handmade feel. They want to go back to the texture," she said. "It's interesting because we are coming at it from a different angle. We're coming at it as artists and I think that's something artists have done throughout time and reclaimed obsolete technologies to make art work with."

Art which has a look a feel - an emotion - ­­in Bobby's Bama.

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