Tom Liesegang, Metal Master

4You etching by Tom LiesegangThere’s no such thing as scrap metal in the world of Tom Liesegang, at least where yachts are concerned. This American-born, Amsterdam-residing artist, half of the team at Orka Fine Arts, creates one-of-a-kind aluminum works showcasing a superyacht’s profile drawing and accommodations plan, much like the example at left.

How? By putting a creative spin on recycling: He uses some of the very same metal that went into the yacht’s construction.

The aluminum is cut specially by the yacht builder for Liesegang. In fact, the works are commissioned by the yards themselves, presented to the owners as gifts. So far Liesegang is working with builders like Heesen Yachts and Oceanco, with others pending.

In fact, the piece seen here was created for the owner of the 47-meter (154-foot) Heesen 4You. Specifically, it’s a screenprint and watercolor on a 3-mm aluminum plate measuring 65 centimeters by 50 centimeters. Some of the yacht’s specifications, such as LOA, beam, range, and engine package, are printed directly below the profile. Farther beneath and to the left is a rendering of the hull shape, in green. It’s a substantial size in comparison to the other illustrations above, yet it doesn’t detract from them.

If you look a little more closely at the print, you’ll also see a colorful map, to the right. It depicts part of the southern coast of Holland, not far from where Heesen’s facilities are located. Liesegang likes to incorporate additional elements that have a personal point of reference for the owner. Whether it’s something like this, or even the homeport of the yacht, Liesegang believes it’s essential, so that the piece is truly custom and unlike any other. Even the custom frames for his prints have a personal connection. 4You’s print frame isn’t shown here, but it’s made of the same wood that adorns her interior.

So how does Liesegang create these works of art? Through a chemical process and sanding that allow him to etch the aluminum. He also works closely with the shipyard’s management team and the naval architects to select and interpret the architectural drawings, then the cabinetry shop for the frame.

As interesting as his approach is, none of it would have developed without a piece commissioned by the U.S. Navy. Liesegang was contacted to make screenprints of its then-new attack submarine, the USS Virginia. With assistance from the Maritime Museum in Virginia, he further incorporated the lines of the CSS Virginia, a Civil War vessel that the name of the submarine honors. While his medium was paper, not metal, the idea of interpreting the architectural drawings inspired him to approach yacht builders. And the rest, as they say, is history.

For further details about his works, visit the link to Orka Fine Arts above or Liesegang’s personal website.

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