Ever heard of it? It’s an age old art form from the era of Old-Time Strongmen.
Raw steel cut at varying lengths and in different widths whether round, square or flat and then you work the piece into loops, twists and bends letting your mind wander, building it into different center pieces, wall hangings, sconces, wine holders, patio/garden art – you name it, the steel can become it.
I began scrolling when I was seven, performing with my father at different strongman shows. Today it’s become one of my favorite parts of strength training and I really enjoy seeing the potential in a piece of straight steel, working and bending it till it becomes what I’d envisioned.
Some pieces are artistic and others functional yet still beautiful. I’ve done table pieces of a fish which is a 10′ piece of 1″ flat bar that is wrapped with a 3/8″ round 10′ piece. I’ve also done this one with a 5′, 1/2″ flat bar wrapped with a 1/2″ round 10′ piece. I call these fish, “Crom’s Koi.”
My personal favorite is a double looped 1/2″ flat bar that was then wrapped with 10′ of 1/2″ round and then 10′ of 1/4″ round piece. The one displayed here is unfinished.
This piece is roughly 30 feet of steel altogether and took approximately two and half hours to complete. Once you begin bending you have to continue until the piece is completed as the only heat you have that allows the steel to bend at all willingly is the heat created from the bending itself. So you have to work as quickly as possible. The tighter the coil the more difficult the piece, but the more beautiful the finished product.
In December of 2011 I hosted a Toys For Tots Charity Fun Shoot. I made the trophies for the event using 1/2″ x 1/4″ flat bar for first place painted gold, 3/8″ round for 2nd painted silver and 1/2″ round for 3rd painted bronze. The HOA was a Crom’s Koi painted in Krylon’s Colorshift which changes color depending on your angle.
I was really pleased with how well the trophies were received by the competitors.
In the image below you can more clearly see the detail in the Colorshift paint. In the flash of the camera it appears blue, however it shifts to a deep purple as well as a green. This is my latest Crom’s Koi currently for sale.
I also do Bonsai Trees as seen here:
This was done using a 1/4″ round piece in a tight spiral to simulate an Acacia tree of the Serengeti. Also known as Umbrella Trees. This one is a two-tone with the trunk painted brown and the top a forest green.
Each piece is unique as it’s impossible to replicate the bend and twist in steel. Each piece of steel while it may be cut at a particular length and width, scrolls differently depending on the tensile strength
I bend horseshoes as well. When bent around from their original “U” shape and then have the ends closed they become a heart shape. This has become the icon for a foundation I’m creating that focuses on sporting clays fundraisers. Last year Toys For Tots was my first. I am planning an event for the Make A Wish Foundation, the SPCA as well as an event for Paws for Patriots which provides assistance dogs for servicemen and women who’ve lost their site due to injuries during combat. The name of the foundation is, “The Heart of Strength,” and this bent horseshoe is its symbol.
I bend nails as well such as 60D and 70D penny nails, spikes, bolts and wrenches. When bent, I hang the nails from twine or silver line and suspend them through the nail holes of the heart horseshoes at varying lengths. They make amazing wind chimes with a sensational tone!
This is a wine bottle holder. The great thing about the scrolled steel is that it can be displayed from many angles so what I see as the correct side for a single wine bottle holder, can be turned by on its side by someone else who sees loops for a double wine bottle holder.
I’ve had other people use them to display business cards, photos and large sea shells.
All pieces are signed and numbered and can be painted to the color of your choosing.