March 2019, I was presented with an amazing opportunity, Matt Popp, owner of Lone Star Plasma in Richmond Texas (www.lonestartplasma.com), was contacted by the general manager of Richard Branson's Necker Island to commission a new fireball to replace one that was completely rusted out. It was a custom piece done by an artist that lived on the islands.
As an artist, this project ultimately became one of the most challenging projects I've ever done to date. I had to duplicate the design, from photos, and from a 48" diameter ball - to a 36" diameter ball. And there were a lot of must haves on it. Noteably, Princess Di, Harry & William, Bono, The Rolling Stones logo, Nelson Mandela, flamingos, ibis, iguanas, coconut tree and a British Virgin Island plane.
I was pretty confident that I could do it, so Matt delivered the blank fireball. That fireball was so heavy that a forklift was needed to get it to my garage! He had devised a stand with rollers on it so I could move the fireball around.
Over the next week and 1/2, I think I redrew that design at least 3 or 4 times to get it right. Once I got the design completely drawn, I had to go back and trace all lines to make sure that when the welding cuts were made, the cuts wouldn't intersect with anything else and cause the entire fireball to be ruined. Not an easy job!
After I finished my part of the project, it was taken back to the shop to make the cuts. As difficult as this was, I think it turned out really spectacular!! It's fun knowing that it has a permanent home on the warm sands of Necker Island for guests to enjoy!