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Jon Shaeffer will be assuming off his “Junkyard Dogs” and added atom metal assignment at the Y-Bridge Arts Festival this weekend.(Photo: Nathan Harris/Times Recorder)Buy Photo

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ZANESVILLE – It began with a cat.

“My wife, I knew she admired cats, and I saw a agglomeration of metal lying around,” Jon Shaeffer said. “I started to attending at the metal and thought, ‘I’m activity to bond that out and accomplish a cat.’ And that was it.”

Shaeffer, 59, has consistently had a affection for authoritative things. A fan of woodworking, he acclimated to accomplish copse crafts years ago, affairs them at crafts shows. He’s additionally congenital two sheds for himself.

“Everything I build, it’s consistently aesthetic in mind,” he said, administration photos of his architecture and pointing out the little extras he adds “to accord it flavor.”

But it was not until afterwards he retired from 30 years as a acquittal administrator with the Muskingum County Juvenile Court that he transitioned to metal work.

After affairs a welder to accomplish aliment to some accessories for his backyard service, Shaeffer absitively one day in 2013 to body the cat for his wife. Back then, he’s fabricated hundreds of deer, horses, turkeys, pigs, angle and dogs out of old agriculture tools.

In his afford are 10 to 15 buckets of assorted atom pieces, aggregate from bolts and brim to lengths of blubbery alternation and horse shoes.

“Most artists would acquaint you their palette’s paint,” he said. “My palette is a big old arbor with wrenches all over it, addition arbor with all this added metal on it in assorted shapes.”

Shaeffer has some accompany who will advertise him old debris and manual parts, admitting a majority of his aliment appear from acreage auctions. But clashing added attendees, he’s not affairs the genitalia for their function, but rather their shape.

“Someone will attending at a allotment and say ‘Oh, that’s a valve awning for an old tractor,’ and I’ll attending at it and say ‘Oh, that’s a allotment for an animal, a addition or an eye or an ear,'” he said.

Just afore deer season, Shaeffer fabricated a deer arch out of old wrenches and added scraps. (Photo: Nathan Harris/Times Recorder)

Walking about Relics Antique Mall in city Zanesville, area his assignment is sold, he generally chock-full to point out specific valves, tubes and apparatus anchored into his creatures.

“People get a bang out of seeing what I acclimated to accomplish it,” Shaeffer said.

“I see things that he puts in the assignment that I’ve never apparent before, and I’ve been about tools,” said Robert LaMay, the buyer of Relics Antique Mall.

A lot of Shaeffer’s creations are animals, but he’s additionally fabricated flowers, windmills from area metal, automated appliance such as lamps and tables from brim and fizz saws and alike a Picasso-like face with bike alternation hair. A golf fan, Shaeffer makes the bays every year for a bounded inferior golf tournament.

But his admired conception sits alfresco his house: a dog fabricated out of chains fabricated to resemble an old English sheep dog he acclimated to have.

“This old English sheep dog would run alfresco my house, and we had to put him bottomward a while back,” he said. “So one day, I had a lot of alternation at that time, so I fabricated Buster. I put him out front, and bodies would say ‘I anticipation you had to put that dog down.’ And I’d say ‘Well, you bigger accept a afterpiece look, because he’s fabricated out of log chain.'”

Shaeffer additionally afresh fabricated a Shih Tzu for an earlier adult for Christmas, a conception he affairs to access into the Y-Bridge Arts Festival this weekend for competition.

“He’s affectionate of spooky,” he said, administration a photo of the dog. “If you see him abutting to the dog I modeled him after, he’s affectionate of got a funny attending to his face. He about looks like he’s real.”

If he had to accept a speciality, it would be the alternation dogs.

“It’s the best accurate, but it takes the longest,” he said. A distinct dog could booty a anniversary to complete, as Shaeffer has to cut the alternation to altered lengths and bond anniversary articulation in assorted places.

Shaeffer uses balance from his adjustment to add arrangement to the arch of a metal turkey. (Photo: Nathan Harris/Times Recorder)

While he’s affected the “big acquirements curve” and gotten bigger at adjustment in the bristles years back he started his work, Shaeffer does not affirmation to to be a acceptable welder.

“It I had to bond article structurally sound, I’d apparently fail,” he said. “But for this, you don’t accept to accept appealing welds, you aloof accept to accept welds that defended what you’re aggravating to make.”

As an artist, Shaeffer will booty residue, which welders about appetite to avoid, and beat it on the arch of a metal turkey to get a beaded arrangement appearance.

In his experience, Shaeffer has acid his craft, advertent what altered types of metal to use, what reacts able-bodied to adjustment and what does not. Cast adamant and harder animate are difficult to assignment with, he said, while bendable steel, which a lot of wrenches are fabricated of, is added malleable.

“Everyone says the aforementioned thing. ‘I aloof don’t apperceive how you alpha and stop article like that,” LaMay said of customers’ reactions to the metalwork.

There is no plan, Shaeffer said.

“You attending at a account of something, you set in in your apperception and alpha architecture from the arena up,” he said.

The assignment is not after danger, though. The abstracts he uses are generally abundant and rusted. He had to body a blast arrangement in his afford to bankrupt the smoke created while welding. He’s been austere a brace times.

Shaeffer makes pigs and hogs out of old gas canisters. (Photo: Nathan Harris/Times Recorder)

When he makes pigs out of old gas tanks, he’s abstruse to use Freon tanks instead of propane tanks.

“You don’t appetite to use propane. I acclimated to use propane tanks, and alike admitting it was empty, I had bonfire cutting out of the catchbasin from the residue,” he said. “And I figured, ‘Where there’s fire, there’s explosion.’ So I don’t use propane anymore.”

Shaeffer does not do too abounding orders, preferring instead to do what he wants to do. But he has been commissioned on some pieces, including a horse arch fabricated out of horse shoes for acclaimed horse trainer Randy Wilson of Zanesville.

“He brings me a brazier of atom metal with horse shoes and files,” Shaeffer said. “After I got done, he told me ‘Each horse shoe is a horse shoe from one of my admirable best horses.'”

It is not a job for Shaeffer, though, but a passion.

“It’s aloof article I adore doing,” he said. “Everyone’s got to break active accomplishing something.”

ndharris@gannett.com

740-450-6752

Twitter: @nwithan8

Y-Bridge Fest

The 2018 Y-Bridge Arts Festival by the Artisan Colony of Zanesville will be captivated at Zane’s Landing Park this weekend. Hours are 2 p.m. to dark Friday, and 11 a.m. to dark Saturday. Now in it’s 10th year, attendees can adore beheld artists, achievement artists, agreeable groups, aliment concessions, and ability demonstrators. Join bags of tourists from beyond the region. 

More added information, visit ybridgeartsfestival.com/the-festival/2018-y-bridge-arts-festival//.

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