Technologist by day, metal artist by night – Leif Price’s journey into the arts was an unexpected one. While he never thought he had an artistic bone in his body, he soon discovered his life-long love for bikes could turn into a long-term reward. From the use of motorcycle engines to various other car parts, this self-taught welder is creating some really cool works of art.
Plano Magazine interviewed Leif to learn about his start into the metal arts world, some of the most memorable pieces created so far and what he’s learning along the way.
How did your journey to metal arts begin?
It was kind of an interesting path to get here. I’ve been riding motorcycles my whole life, mostly motorcross dirt bikes and about 12 years of street riding as well, but about 5 or 6 years ago I started having some real problems with my neck. I thought it was because of motorcross because it’s a very high impact sport, so I sold my dirt bike and thought, “what am I going to do for a hobby or passion?” I decided I would like to try my hand at a custom motorcycle or old project truck, so I bought a welder. I still don’t have a project motorcycle or truck.
On Instagram, I stumbled across people doing metal arts, and one of the motorcycle forums I’m a member of – a guy was giving away a BMW motorcycle engine. No one was taking it, even though it had a lot of viable good parts in it so I said, “I’ll take it.” I created a lamp from some of the parts from that engine, sold it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
What are some of the favorite pieces you’ve created so far?
The last commission piece I created was for my neighbor’s business partner called, ‘exhaustopus.’ It was created from motorcycle headers (those were the tentacles), and then I formed the body using masonry nails. That was fun because my neighbor got to play an active part and see the progress.
Another piece I created was a woman’s torso that was all made using about 70 bicycle chains. I found this huge stack of bicycle chains I had for years, so I started welding. You have to weld every single link, so it was a tedious process but it came out fantastic.
How often are you creating new art?
I have a fairly low volume because I do have a full-time job. I do this on the side, mostly just on weekends where I only spend about 5-6 hours working on projects. So far, I’ve done about 10 commission pieces. I try not to do the same thing, so no two pieces are the same.
What’s been the most interesting thing you’ve learned on your path as an artist?
One of the things that’s been interesting on my journey is just the learning process as you go. When you first start off, you’re just kind of sticking stuff together. Then over time, you start progressing and focusing a lot more on the details and taking a lot more thought and time before creating something. I have been trying to focus more on organic looking pieces and have even started to incorporate other mediums such as wood and epoxy resin.
You see a lot of artists that focus on one style, but I haven’t found what some people call “their voice.” I’m still going down the path of finding what that is.
You can follow Leif on his metal arts journey and contact him if you’re interested in buying his work on Instagram @tempest.metal.arts.@tempest.metal.arts