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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

IPF Employee turns metal into art


August 16, 2016

A sheep shearing and maple syrup festival is the last place you would expect to leave with a lifelong hobby. Scott Friend, planner/inspector/analyst II, however, did just that. After meeting a blacksmith at the festival, metal working became his passion.

Friend has been doing metal work for the past eight years and learns more about it every day.

“You find all these little skills when you do it long enough,” Friend said.

Friend built his own forge to do his work at home. A forge is a special fireplace or furnace specifically used to heat metal before it is shaped. He began to experiment with different kinds of metals and styles. Now, he makes presents like fire pokers, hooks and candle stick holders.

Twin hooks spiraled in the middle

A trammel hook crafted by Friend.

Corkscrew at the end of a sheep's hook.

Heart-shaped bar

Metal leaf

Metal holder in the shape of leaves.

Candlestick holder crafted by Friend for his wife.

A cross with a hole pushed through the middle.

Friend also has a hand in IPF metal working,. He has helped Larry Ezzo craft lanterns that can be found around MSU’s campus.

“I saw Larry having some trouble with the final on top of a lantern and I said, ‘hey! I can do that,”’ Friend said.

Friend went home and crafted a lantern finial out of aluminum. A finial is the spike on top of a lantern. He brought the aluminum finial into the IPF metal shop and it became an inspiration for the current lanterns.

Metalworking isn’t his only skill. Friend also works with electronics, machines and computers. He recently built a programmable cutter. With this, he was able to program what he wanted to cut into it, place the material under the blade and let it do the work. With this machine, Friend made Star Wars Christmas ornaments out of old records.

Friend’s passion has not only been beneficial for IPF, but has also resulted in beautiful works of art.