Harmonizing Modernity & Nature
The Allure of Steel & Wood: Simply Fabricated Defines the Power Duo
by Jennifer Walton
“I love the warmth of wood and what it brings to steel. It allows a softer approach to steel, physically and visually.”
–Cody Hawes, Owner, Simply Fabricated
Blending strength and warmth to explore the synergy of steel and wood is to master the art of fusion. Steel and wood transcend boundaries in design, and Cody Hawes, founder, owner, and brilliant fabricator of Simply Fabricated, defines their beauty for every client, whether they utilize one or both.
When strength meets elegance, steel and wood unleash their full potential. Combining steel’s sleek and modern appearance with wood’s warm, natural appeal creates a striking visual contrast. This contrast adds depth to the distinct features. The smoothness of steel can be juxtaposed with the grain patterns and natural irregularities of wood, creating an engaging sensory experience. And as Hawes notes, steel and wood can be adapted to various design styles, from contemporary and modern to rustic and industrial. However, Hawes’ recent requests veer more to what he has coined “high-desert modern.”
“I love the warmth of wood and what it brings to steel. It allows a softer approach to steel, physically and visually.” And in the high-desert area of Bend, creating seamless indoor and outdoor spaces that evoke a sense of serenity is vital to Hawes. “When we incorporate wood slats in our gates or treads on our stairs, we integrate nature into the equation.”
Steel, known for its load-bearing capabilities, is an excellent material for supporting large spans and creating open spaces, like Hawes’ exquisite floating mono-stringer staircases. However, Hawes’ impressive fireplace cladding and striking patinaed facades employ techniques that require patience and expertise, two characteristics that he and his SimFab team illustrate with their basket-weave patterns, floor-to-ceiling fireplace panels, elaborate gates, and decorative exterior elements like firepits and planter boxes.
“It definitely was one of my favorite projects because it allowed me to explore and defy the conventions of my craft in unexpected ways. I was inspired to go
beyond the familiar and conventional.”
–Cody Hawes, Owner, Simply Fabricated
Patinaed steel is when mild steel undergoes a controlled chemical process to develop a layer on its surface. The hues combine in intricate patterns, ranging from deep browns, oranges, and reds to blues and greens. The fabrication complexity involves several stages and requires specialized knowledge and skills, including preparing the surface, applying solutions, controlling oxidation, and sealing and finishing. The combination of artistic vision, chemical knowledge, and technical expertise makes the fabrication challenging, but that is where Hawes excels.
Hawes and his team exceeded their wildest dreams with a wine cellar project that demanded their imagination and focused execution. A space underneath a deck became a wine cellar reimagined to resemble a collapsed mine shaft, complete with beams succumbing to the force of nature, in disarray, yet structurally perfected to hold wine bottles. Two large boulders render the scene with a sense of awe. “It definitely was one of my favorite projects because it allowed me to explore and defy the conventions of my craft in unexpected ways. I was inspired to go beyond the familiar and conventional,” Hawes shares. A willingness to further explore his talents led to designing and fabricating a hidden door in the mine shaft wall. Incredibly, it all began as a pile of raw steel.
And then there is epoxy. Working with colored epoxy is a fascinating process that allows artists and craftspeople to create unique art. Epoxy is a versatile and durable material that, when combined with colorants, offers endless possibilities—the translucent nature of epoxy allows light to play with the colors, creating depth and a sense of movement within the piece—and Hawes’ results are on display at PureCare Dental in Bend, where his epoxied wall captivates staff and patients each day. The combination of the glossy finish and the richness of colors add sophistication to the piece in the reception area.
A NEW PARTNER
Hawes enjoys adding wood to his repertoire. The modern look of steel, softened by the warmth and timelessness of wood, is the formula for an inviting ambiance and iconic representation.
Adding wood’s lustrous texture complements SimFab’s attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. Wood, with its tactile quality, can be shaped and curved to organic forms, and like steel, its flexibility opens a wide range of design possibilities and allows architects and fabricators to bring their creative visions to life.
From railings and gates to stairs, firepits, and extraordinary elements that can add dimension and uniqueness to the interior or exterior of your home, office, landscape, or business, Hawes and his team of certified welders are ready to transform your space with artistry.
SimFab, the area’s premier custom metal fabrication company for residential and commercial projects, measures, designs, cuts, welds, and installs all its work; wood is similar in that it requires the same precision. “For the client to know that we can do both steel and wood allows me to provide everything in-house, which keeps our creativity on course and our projects on time” Hawes explains. “We’ve always emphasized our company slogan when working with our clients: ‘Your dream, my design, our creation.’”