Featured Member

Each month a new Featured Member is chosen from the completed member profiles on our website. Their interview and work is highlighted on our blog and social media. Visit our archive of past Featured Members.

October 2020

  • Manwell Gali
  • Manwell Gali
  • Manwell Gali
  • Manwell Gali



Manwell Gali

Websites: lacedupmetal.com

Instagram: lacedupmetal

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in the Bay Area and currently live in Pleasant Hill.  I am a husband, and father to two daughters. I am a freelance metal artist, creating everything from metal wall art, to abstract pieces to most recently a large outdoor art installation at a Veterans Housing community. My passion for working in metal began about 9 years ago out of a very small home shop in Oakland, CA. But prior to that, I dabbled in T shirt design, graphic design and even started an online decal company, Laced Up Decals, which is still going strong today.

What is your favorite tool and why?

Computer and CNC plasma cutter.  It allows me to bring the things I conceptualize/design in the digital world, into reality.

Which materials do you create with most and what is your attraction to using them?

Steel.  It is so versatile.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from things I see and trying to blur the lines between the digital world and the real world via graphic design and fabrication.

How long have you been working in metals and what brought you into this field?

I have been working with metals for about 8 years.  I was drawn to them because I have always enjoyed making things and with metalwork and fabrication the possibilities are endless of what you can create.

What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in metals?

Just start making stuff.  Make mistakes.  Create all you can. Try new things and processes.

What has been the biggest challenge for you as a metal artist and have you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?

Commission pieces.  In the beginning I really had no way of conveying my ideas of what  I was going to do. Learning 3d modeling software really helped me convey my ideas.

Favorite resource/vendor or website

Linked in Learning and Youtube.  Between those two you can learn how to do anything.

The latest project photos:

The project was to encase a 30’ elevator shaft at Rocky Hill Veterans Housing Project which is a 39-unit affordable rental community for Veteran families and formerly homeless Veterans in Vacaville CA.

Design concept:

The purpose of this piece is to welcome veterans and their families to their new home while showing the transformation each veteran experiences, and the strength required to do so. The main background of the piece is the American flag, a staple in showing the patriotism and heroism all veterans embody.  The man holding up the child represents family and the sacrifice and service our veteran’s families have also given to this country. The child with outstretched arms like wings begins the symbolization of transformation and growth, which is carried out through the rest of the details in the piece. Veterans, after years of service, are faced with having to transform into a new life, a new community, and a new routine. The various birds, starting at the feet of the veteran and rising up to the top of the piece, are depicting this very transformation and growth our veterans go through. We start with crows rising from behind him, to eagles rising up above, to the final transformation into the Phoenix. The Phoenix mimics the journey of the downtrodden veteran; the man or woman who has risen from the ashes of homelessness to a new life, a family, and a community. In mythological symbolism, the Phoenix is associated with the sun and it obtains new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor. Much like the Phoenix, many of our veterans have had to pull themselves out of a dark and desolate place, shedding the lives and pasts of their predecessor self. The hope with this piece is that our veterans, and their families, will see that like the Phoenix, they are strong, that they have the power to transform, and they will rise above with new wings.