Steel Manzanita Tree

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


This was a big day for me.  As a Marine Corps Veteran I was so honored to have had the opportunity to do this for this unit.  I was contacted by Captain Littlejohn about creating a custom shield for 5th Battalion / 11th Marines, Romeo Battery.  I almost couldn't believe it when I first received the email!  On seeing the logo, I knew the repousse / chasing techniques I use would be the perfect application for this.  I have been struggling with my art goals, trying to find new motivation in what I create and this was definitely a welcome challenge!   My Mom had also been in failing health over the past year, having had to go into long term nursing care in September 2017.  This was a welcome respite from those new changes as well.  Mom ended up passing away in February and I had lost quite a bit of time out of the shop staying in town to be close to her leading up to that.  As a result I lost significant time on my bench and my schedule was back logged.  Trying to accommodate all my customers who were affected by the delays, I was worried that I would not be able to complete this before their projected deployment date but as luck would have it, their flight date got moved up and I was able to get this to them within a few days of their leaving.  My husband, Eric was a big help in accomplishing this, doing pretty much everything else for the last two weeks I was working on this.  I was so excited to present this to them and everyone was extremely appreciative and complimentary of the finished product. As you can see from the photos below, they will be proud to have this as part of their unit for years to come!  They even surprised me with a Certificate of Appreciation framed in the end caps from the M142 rocket casings and I was handed off a unit coin by the Commanding Officer of the Battalion.  These things have a special place in my office now and really mean a lot to me.  It was fun going back on the base where I used to work when I was on active duty 1981-1986.  Eric was able to go with me and see a glimpse of my world before I met him and really enjoyed the experience.  I wish my Mom could have seen this to completion but I am sure she was experiencing it in spirit.  Who knows, maybe I will get more opportunities to work with the Marine Corps in the future!  If not, I will still cherish this experience always!  Semper Fi!  

Total of 150 hours to complete - 32 oz copper sheet 28" x 32"

You can see the logo and some of the progression of the work to the final piece.

Capt. Littlejohn, First Sgt. Thomas and Myself

Its in good hands now!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The RAW Series - Limited

I found some delicious aged and well patina'd steel last week and decided to create some simple steel vessels or vases with it.  I love textures and patterns in steel particularly when they are created by natural processes.  

This steel has been out in the scrap yard for a couple of years stacked with the moisture working away between the metal etching out these wonderful patterns!  Each side has a different pattern.  

To add to the texture, I didn't clean the edges after plasma cutting so when I welded it, I got the classic porous welds.  I did that purposely to add to the "raw" nature of these pieces.  

The vases are sealed inside and out with a satin finish spray-on clear coat paint that can be simply maintained by light dusting. 

These vases and vessels can be used as decorative pieces in your home to hold dried flowers, potpourri, candle holders, etc., or look great just as they are!  They are not, however, water tight or water proof. 

This will be a limited series due to the limited supply of this particular aged steel.  

Click here to go to my ETSY Store to purchase:  DEBRA MONTGOMERY ETSY STORE

More to come! 

welded steel vase.aged rusty patina.raw steel.debra montgomery fine metal sculpture
Welded Steel Vase - 9-3/8" x 6" x 6"
Naturally aged rusty patina - Raw Steel - 7 lbs

Monday, July 27, 2015


Well, my original goal was to have made something out of metal for this Equine Jubilee art show in August, but time didn't allow for that.  Just got the news today that the photograph below from the day at Return To Freedom made it into the show!  Fun news :) Had a little fun with a watercolor editing feature.  Maybe I can do more of this kind of thing along side the metal work.

This shot made it into the An Equine Jubilee, Celebrating the Horse In Art show :) Kinda fun that it was with photography.

Posted by Debra Montgomery: Fine Metal Sculpture on Monday, July 27, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015


I have been working for a few months now with an art marketing specialist, Carolyn Edlund of the Art Business Institute.  It has been an enlightening experience so far and I have lots of things to continue to work on.  My Artist Profile just got published to the ABI website this morning.


Friday, July 3, 2015


Maybe you can gather by some of my other posts, I have been all over the board going to classes, looking at new techniques and almost maybe bragging about new experiences - to the point, in my opinion - that maybe I have turned some people off.  I am a little embarrassed about some of my overzealous posts on social media in that respect.  

I have been going through some transitional changes in my career and life related to changes in direction in both businesses, some health issues and taking care of elderly parents.  In an attempt to gain come control back, I have been searching out new inspirations, techniques and other various things to try to reawaken my artistic drive and to just feel generally inspired again.  I have been feeling very unsettled and restless in my day to day and have been struggling to get myself back to some sort of creative rhythm and life balance.   

On Saturday, June 27, I did take the day to go on a photo shoot offered at the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, CA.  I have loved horses since I was a young girl and have had horses in my life since about the age of 9.  This past year and a half or so has been kind of a bummer for me.  On February 25, 2014, I lost my horse, Jesse, who was a part of my life for 27 years.   A lot of things have happened since then, including the acquisition of a new sweet Arabian mare that I felt I had to "rescue" from the SPCA.  That is another story.  But I still miss Jesse every day.  As you may know from previous posts, in December 2013,  I had actually started a horse sculpture, full size - about 14.2 in horse size.  It was a big jump for me artistically and this actually got started because of an opportunity through a fund raiser for what was supposed to be a new documentary "The Last Cowboy - A Feature Film"  about Dayton Hyde of the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.  Unfortunately, to date, it doesn't appear they were able to raise the funds they needed and the project came to a stand still by the first of the year 2014.  But the other part of doing a full size horse sculpture was a way to memorialize my horse.  I knew he was in the last years of his life and I decided to use his horse shoes as part of the sculpture.  I was so excited about it!!  Not too long after the campaign for the movie ended, I had to make a fairly sudden decision to put Jesse down.  I had always envisioned getting some photos of Jesse "meeting" the wild horse sculpture, if you will.  Jes just passed before I could finish it.  So.. its been sitting pretty much untouched since February 25, 2014.  I guess I don't really owe any explanations for this and I know I've talked about it enough. This particular piece is just an element of closure related to Jesse that I realize I haven't been able to address.  That is really what it comes down to.  It will be bittersweet to complete and I have been avoiding the emotions of that. It will get finished though.  

Having said that, I am now just trying to get back to some of my basic roots - the simple things I have always enjoyed and that have helped me stay grounded.  I am back exercising again, taking some time for myself and I am spending more time around the horses and the calm and beauty that accompanies that.  I'm going to try to stay away from social media for a while and definitely will be keeping my artistic endeavors to myself for a while.  None of this is a competition. Instead of talking, I need to spend more time doing.  

I am interested in the causes of animals that need help.  Everyone who knows me knows that - we won't talk about how many cats I have... ha ha.  After Jes passed, I did get a little involved with some of the local domestic horse rescue groups.  That is how I met Jasmine, my little Arab mare. 

However, I don't know much really about what is happening with the wild horses rescues / sanctuaries, the legislature and political red tape that is associated with them and their future in the wild. I have already met some very nice people who are involved in that and plan on spending some time in Nevada taking more photos hopefully in the Fall and learning more about the wild horses' plight.  How much I can get involved in that, I don't know.  One thing I have done in the past is try to take on too much.  So I will proceed with that cautiously and will not over commit.  I feel I am a competent artist and certainly would be willing to use my art as a platform to help.  The strong women that are involved in this fascinate me.  I feel like I used to be fearless - strong, independent and capable and over the course of the past few of years, I feel like I have really lost my edge and I truly miss that about myself.  I am looking forward to getting back to some of my old roots and interests, taking time for myself and finding some contentment in my daily life.  

In the course of all of this sorting out of myself, I have also been working with an art marketing specialist.  In our conversations, I find that I need to focus on one thing at a time and to be honest with myself about what I really like and want to create.  I am feeling much more at home and inspired with the horses so I am going to focus on a body of work centered around that for a while.  I have even managed to find some "horse themed" art shows and they are interested in my work.  Its time to "get back in the saddle" and do this.  

With regard to the classes I have taken this year, I will get back to enameling - I still see good ways to incorporate that in some of the copper work I do.  Actually, there is a small element of enameling that will be included on the horse sculpture.  And I am definitely interested in the human form and faces so will certainly apply what I have learned in my recent classes to that at some point in the future.  

And I am just saying NO to social media except for specific friend and family interactions.  I'm keeping works in progress, ideas for new work, classes and such to myself.   Social media can be a funny thing -  quantifying your life and accomplishments based on how many "likes" you get.  Pretty silly if you think about it.  I admit I found myself getting caught up in that a little bit. I realize its all really irrelevant.  

For now, I want to continue to simplify and spend some time drawing, photographing and creating all things horse and see what people and experiences that brings into my life.  

Below is a link to photos I took the day at Return to Freedom.  I do need to learn more about how to use the camera I have, but I did get some good shots.  Even a few of the action shots, in spite of blurry legs, etc., were still interesting.  Beautiful animals, horses.  It was a good day.  

Return To Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - Buckskin stallion

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - Buckskin stallion #2

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - Chief - Sulfur stallion

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary - White mare 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015



chasing and repousse in steel class with douglas pryor.debra montgomery

"Come join Douglas Pryor in a two day class where he will show his style of high relief repousse in steel. He has a full range of skills as a sculptor but what sets him apart is that he works his art into fully functional armour grade steels. Douglas’s armour does more than withstand the tests of combat but also enriches the reenactment community’s culture with artwork. He will show the skills needed to work in heavy gauge steels that can also be easily applied in thinner gauge copper or brass projects. This workshop will be on sculpting the human face going through the processes to make your own. In this hands on class Douglas will work with you through all of the steps to create your own design in steel, brass, or copper. The basic material, tools, and needed supplies will be provided for you. Anyone who has basic repousse skills and would like to explore this process is welcome to join this class."

This is perfect for my year of growth and art!

Through my pitch sales, I have gotten an unexpected opportunity to learn about chasing and repousse in steel and focus on the human face!  This will definitely raise the bar for my skills.  I have not done any repousse / chasing work in steel to date and I have been wanting to do some figurative work, particularly faces and such.   Am very much looking forward to this class!

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Thanks to Kathleen for her review of my chasers pitch!   Another satisfied customer!


To touch on welding a cross bar into a cast iron bowl:  Sometimes using the standard steel MIG wire isn't successful.  You can also braze the bar in place or you can use Stainless Steel wire.

You can also drill holes in the bottom or sides of the bowl and run some screws through to act as a "tooth" to hold the pitch or the plaster or concrete filler in place.  If you use plaster of paris or other fillers to fill up half your pitch bowl, you can also embed screws or the like to then hold the pitch in place.

I always send along instruction sheets with all my orders that touches on some of this.

Please feel free to stop by my CHASERS PITCH WEBSITE to check out my medium grade chasers pitch!