|News Letter - March 2016
VOL #2 - ISSUE #2
Cannons, Carriages, & Other Works of Art
~ by Artist Michael Elledge
March 24, 2016 Volume 2, Number 2
As a self- proclaimed artist, I have created many things over the years that I
consider worthy of being referred to as “artwork”. Some of it, I have a few hours
in. A lot of it, I have many, many hours in. Certainly, I have found that the more
time you throw at a project, the nicer it is likely to be. A long time ago I became
unconcerned about the time spent on a project and focused instead on the final
outcome of that project. The results of that type of thinking have been very
gratifying to me.
Like any artist, I enjoy what I do and like what I make. Also, like any artist, I
have created special pieces that I consider my best work. These are the pieces that
I am loth to give up. Unfortunately, also like any other artist, there are bills to be
How does one put a price tag on something you don’t want to sell?
If you price it too high, it will never sell. You get to keep it but your electricity
gets cut off. If you price it too low, you will lose your treasure.
I have found and been gratified by the fact that there are some folks out there who
really appreciate something that is very well made. Add into that an artistic flair
and you have something that someone is willing to pay for. People like their
In the past year I have had to give up two pieces that I never thought I would part
with. In both cases, someone simply wanted it more than I did. Now they are gone
but the creativity that allowed me to make them lives on. So I continue to make
Field & Naval Carriages
I recently have had the privilege to make a matched pair of quarter scale field
carriages for someone with a pair of six pounder barrels and following that order,
another matched pair of naval carriages. That kept me busy for a while!
Galveston Seaport Museum
This past year I was commissioned by the Galveston Seaport Museum to make a
ram rod, worm, and sponge for their huge 1819 twenty-four pounder. These are
the biggest implements I have made to date and measured over 10’ long with 5”
heads. They are currently on display with the cannon. It is an interesting place to
visit in Galveston and resides right next to the “Elissa” ship’s berth.
Rustic & Industrial Aged Art
I also have finally taken interest in restoring a lot of the old rusty industrial
equipment I have collected my whole life. This stuff is too cool to just let disappear
into oblivion. An example is a 1904 hand crank drill press. It has a great story.
About 30 years ago, I was at a jobsite building a communications tower in west
Texas. I saw a small part of an iron wheel sticking out of the hard dirt. I tried to
pull on it with my hands but it wouldn’t move. So I hooked a chain to it and my
truck and pulled a large dirt clod out of the ground. To my surprise it was an old
hand crank drill press. After spending about $10 in quarters at the car wash, I
was finally able to see what I had. I soaked it in oil for a few days and beat it apart
with a wrench and a small hammer. I cleaned all the rust off and re-assembled it.
It was real nice. It weighs about 100 lbs. It is dated 1904. I mounted it on a post
in my backyard and it stood there until last year. Time had told on it. It was
again very rusty and would not function. I decided to do something about it. Take
it apart, clean all rust off, reassemble and coat it with linseed oil. I made a stand
for it out of oak and mounted it. It really turned out cool and now sits in my living
room. Yes, it’s that nice!!
That and a number of other rustic pieces I restored can be seen on my website at
http://www.jmelledge.com/RusticArtpg1.html. Please take the time to look it
over. There are more than 100 pages of cool stuff I have made as well as things I
have for sale in my “Gallery of Items for Sale” and my “Portfolio of Items Sold”.
Ammunition Chests for Sale!
My ammunition chests continue to draw attention. These heirloom quality
creations are beautiful and serviceable. See more pictures on my website –http:
My Featured Piece For Sale!!
I custom built this (1/4 scale) cannon field carriage for a "FIRING" Brooks USA
Napoleon Brass Barrel. The carriage is made of oak and stained Jacobean that
compliments the wood grain. All metal is hand forged iron and painted enamel
flat black. The smooth bore 20" long brass barrel has a 1.032 bore size that can
shoot a 1" ball. See more pictures on my website –http://www.jmelledge.
I will probably never be a famous enough artist to cut off my ear but my art work
will still be enjoyed by many a long time after I am gone.
Michael “Van Gogh”
Website - www.jmelledge.com