Alex Horaz and Dave Chadwell spend most of their time building and constructing practical things. Each runs his own independent business: Horaz, 36, in custom finishing and Chadwell, 35, in landscaping and building.
Yet when the two have the opportunity and the time, they come together to make art. Dozens of metal bonsai trees, to be exact.
Their first collection of delicate sculptures debuted a year and a half ago at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery, and now they will display around 30 more with their second Tao of Metal exhibit.
The three-day show takes place at Trinity Brewing Co., which Horaz and Chadwell helped outfit with a recycled glass bar, hand-carved taps and metal tables and stools. Trinity's functional fixtures and dcor are so chic, it makes sense for Chadwell and Horaz to jump into sheet-metal flora. Almost.
When asked why they chose to pursue bonsai trees, they both shrug and smile.
"They spoke to us," says Chadwell. "We did one just out on a whim and ... then we just had to keep going. We're in the 60-plus range of trees we've done."
The trees themselves are all different, not only in size some are 4 feet high, others fit in the palm of your hand but in species. En route to finishing a piece (and potting it in a pan of pebbles), Chadwell and Horaz collaborate on every step.
"It's two heads, four hands the whole way," says Horaz.
The pair has made their metal trees for about two years now, and along with the Tao of Metal shows, has displayed at local farmers markets. Chadwell has also sold pieces, which tend to range between $300 to $3,000, to his landscape clients as garden art. In the future, both are enthusiastic about possible public art opportunities.
Says Horaz about the trees, "It's amazing, the metal, it just comes together ... It's all about placement. It's all about the Tao."