September 2017
Delbert Beckham, db Metal Art Shirt
Words… words… words…

Conceive, design, plan, fashion, develop, adapt, evolve are some words I chose to surround my logo on the back of a shirt.

They describe what I do. They describe what you do. They describe what everyone of us does in some context.
Delbert Beckham, Bottle Tree, salvaged steel
I would like to go back about five years to a beginning to give you perspective of a current project that is evolving. A bottle tree that I am adapting into something else. 

I wanted to make a bottle tree, but I wanted it to be more than something to place bottles on. I wanted it to be interesting in and of itself.
Delbert Beckham, Bottle Tree, salvaged steel
I conceived a design that would use long pieces of one of my favorite materials… salvaged concrete rebar. The plan was that every limb of this tree would start at the base of the tree and extend all they way up to hold a single bottle. I was successful because a lady connected with it and bought it for her yard.
Delbert Beckham, Bottle Trees, salvaged steel
That success inspired me to build more, but the design evolved into something smaller. Not everyone has room for, or even wants, a seven-foot tree that will hold 20 to 30 bottles. I used feeder-chain links to form blooms or leaves on each stem to create a stop for the bottles.These trees, designed to hold 7 to 9 bottles, took on the appearance of a vine. This adaptation was successful as I sold several to the delight of the collectors and myself.
Delbert Beckham, Bottle Tree, 6' x 5' x 5'
The next step in this evolution was a new design that would take the form of a real tree. A small sapling might be a more accurate description. I was happy with the outcome, but not totally satisfied. We will come back to this one.
Delbert Beckham, Real Tree #1, salvaged steel
Since then, I have designed and fashioned “Real Trees”. The trunks of these trees are pipe and larger than the rebar I use for the limbs. They are also used to display bottles and the owners are as happy with them as I am.

Let’s go back to the sapling which has sadly never really connected with anyone.

You know that if you do not connect with the art you acquire, you are just acquiring decorations.
Delbert Beckham, the Sapling Bottle Tree
Just after I finished Milo (His photo is at the bottom of this article.), I was considering my little tree and in my mind’s eye I saw an adaptation of its design. What if the blooms became leaves beneath a different bloom.
Delbert Beckham, Salvaged Steel Materials, Shear-Teeth
Tulips… Eight or nine years ago I made some tulips using shear-teeth. They are called shear-teeth because they are attached to a spinning wheel on a large tractor-skidder that shears through the trunk of a tree like a saw blade. When the teeth wear down, then I can get them.
Delbert Beckham, Tulip Tree, Salvaged Steel
I am now in the process of transforming my small bottle tree into a Tulip Tree.

Will this design work? I do not know yet, but I think so.
Will someone connect with it besides me? I do not know yet, but I hope so.
Am I concerned about the time and effort to make the adaptation? No, I am confident that I have been listening. All of this is part of the journey and therefore worth the time and effort.
Delbert Beckham, Tulip Tree in process
Let me encourage you to continue to conceive, design, plan, fashion, develop, adapt and evolve, and remind you to apply all of these words in order to be successful.
Until next time…
May there always be flowers and a critter or two in your life.
Delbert Beckham, Milo and Friends, Salvage Steel