Cement Pipes and Imagination

cement pipes and imagination; visionary art; blog; melasdesign
Photographic Basis

Something about these cement pipes struck my imagination. They tugged at my subconscious for years before I put my own vision of them to work. It seemed a bit foolish to ponder them over time, but each time I passed them on the way to the Rail Trail in Thomas, West Virginia, they caught my eye. Set in blah surroundings of scrub and gravel, only the occasional splash of green grass accents the scene. With the promise of the trail’s gorgeous natural surroundings, the pipes probably go unnoticed by most. I imagined a new life for them where visionary mandala art meets industrial mandala. They became
“Pipes Field Mandala.”

A History of Industry

For many years I was more smitten with industrial settings and structures than in the beauty that nature offers. The history of Thomas belies one of the most industrial backgrounds possible. It was founded as a coal mining town. Photos from as early as 1880 show a grand shopping district leading to the ultimate grunge of coke ovens and coal processing. Loading stations for transporting this essential commodity by train out to power, well, everything stood by the rails. A power station with two huge smokestacks reached skywards, in the direction of coal smoke on a day with no wind. On most days I passed the pipes by and ventured on into nature, ignoring the nearby remains of 3 coke ovens. Finally, the day came when I took some photos and geared up to create what became industrial mandala art.

Creative Process

Watch the video below for footage of making four cement pipes into visionary mandala art. The creation occurred after the pipes had been mulling in my mind for years. After taking a step aside mentally and meditating on their artistic purpose, I created the artwork “Pipes Field Mandala,” as revealed at the video’s end.

My artistic process in creating this visionary art mandala.

My mandala design developed ever further. In addition creating the original bit of trippy art, I designed an ornate pattern which would look at home in Turkish tile. This pattern screamed its style, begging for bed and bath, and home decor use. Consequently, I offer several versions of this visionary art across a wide line of products in my shop on Society6. See some of the collection below.

Pipes Field Mandala

  • Pipes Field Mandala; Melasdesign Society6; visionary mandala art; art print;
    Visionary Mandala Art Print "Pipes Field Mandala"

Designed for Neutral Interiors

The neutral hues of the original photograph inspired me to work in a relatively neutral color scheme. The mandala’s colors compliment current interior design trends perfectly. Each version of this visionary mandala art, from art prints, and wall hangings, to bath decor, stands out. They suit modern homes and apartments with walls and floors designed with grays, blacks, whites, and browns.

How does this work strike you? Have you ever found beauty in the ordinary and mundane? Which do you prefer: Industrial pattern and form or the organic beauty of nature? Does the history behind this industrial mandala art peak your interest? Comment below and follow along for more.

For more Thomas, WV based fun, check out “Bigfoot Sighting in Thomas, West Virginia” if you dare!



Susan Hicks | Alexandria, Virginia | Thomas, West Virginia

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