FARGO - For Brock Davis, when it comes to metal, even everyday items can become art.
Shelf brackets, handrails, staircases, furniture legs, clocks, fire pits, brackets, signs and sculptures. If it involves molten metal, Davis says he can find beauty even in the most utilitarian of items.
“I just like to be creative,” Davis said Monday, Nov. 4. “I guess I look at art, there’s many forms of it. I mean, just look at a handrail. Most people don’t ‘see’ handrails, but when you get done with the real fine details of it, the welds, and everything,” there is a beauty to it.
More complex and traditionally artistic works include a bison head metal sculpture for Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon in Fargo.
“That was fun,” Davis said.
The metalworking wizard is the owner of Davis Designs Metalwork, which he runs out of a shop in the back of Dakota Timber Co. at 3202 7th Ave. N.
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Davis learned welding at Dickinson High School, and has been making a living at it since he graduated in 2004, working for Black Hills Trucking and later J and J Operating in Dickinson for more than a dozen years.
When he moved to Fargo, he worked for Precision Equipment. Then in 2017, he decided to become his own boss. Davis Designs LLC got its start in a 20-foot by 20-foot detached garage, which quickly was filled with projects, Davis said.
On Jan. 1, he started in the new location, occasionally working on projects with Dakota Timber, such as railings and tables, he said.
Currently, he’s finishing a couple of pieces for the Beer & Fish Co. restaurant, which is expected to open soon in downtown Fargo.
Davis said he’s done some metal structures for the ceilings at Beer & Fish and “two really cool table bases,” including one for a 22-foot table.
“Those guys are really good to work with,” Davis said.
Davis also did all of the table bases for Wurst Bier Hall West in West Fargo.
Some of his art adorns the wall of his shop.
There’s a geometric wall hanging and a Viking head that had once been offered to Drekker Brewing.
The appeal of working with metal is the permanence, he said.
“If it’s done right, it’s definitely going to outlast most of us. That’s what I like with some of the sculptures," Davis said.
The workload seems overwhelming at times, though Davis said he’s not ready to take on an employee quite yet. He does plan to double the size of his shop in the coming year, though.
“I have all the good problems,” he said.
“Right now, there’s no job, too big or small,” he said. “I love what I do."