Thank You Norman

Norman Rockwell. Love this guy!!. 


For those of you who know me best, you already know how much of a little kid I am when it comes to Christmas.  I love it all – the lights, the presents, the goodies, going to Mass and celebrating our Lord, putting out cookies for Santa and the time with family and friends. (even the eggnog). I still get all giddy the night before Christmas and wake up extra early on Christmas morning. It will be even more fun this year as a Grandpa, now officially allowed to spoil the dickens out of the next generation.  For many years, KHT has featured the amazing work of Norman Rockwell, an American treasure, who could illustrate and paint like no one of his time.  A bit idealized at times, there’s still something magical about his work, especially when it comes to capturing the season of Christmas.  He had a knack of finding the right pose, the right expressions and the amazement inside all of us.  On behalf of the whole gang at KHT, I say Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all – may the good Lord bless you and your families this season, and may the big guy in the red suit bring you joy and happiness again this year.  (“and no Rob, you’ll shoot your eye out”).  Special thanks to and the Norman Rockwell museum for the history and use of the images.  Enjoy!

Born Norman Percevel Rockwell in New York City on February 3, 1894, Norman Rockwell knew at the age of 14 that he wanted to be an artist, and began taking classes at The New School of Art. By the age of 16, Rockwell was so intent on pursuing his passion that he dropped out of high school and enrolled at the National Academy of Design. He later transferred to the Art Students League of New York. Upon graduating, Rockwell found immediate work as an illustrator for Boys’ Life magazine.

By 1916, a 22-year-old Rockwell, newly married to his first wife, Irene O’Connor, had painted his first cover for The Saturday Evening Post—the beginning of a 47-year relationship with the iconic American magazine. In all, Rockwell painted 321 covers for the Post.

Some of his most iconic covers included the 1927 celebration of Charles Lindbergh’s crossing of the Atlantic. He also worked for other magazines, including Look, which in 1969 featured a Rockwell cover depicting the imprint of Neil Armstrong’s left foot on the surface of the moon after the successful moon landing. In 1920, the Boy Scouts of America featured a Rockwell painting in its calendar. Rockwell continued to paint for the Boy Scouts for the rest of his life.

The 1930s and ’40s proved to be the most fruitful period for Rockwell. In 1930, he married Mary Barstow, a schoolteacher, and they had three sons: Jarvis, Thomas and Peter. The Rockwells relocated to Arlington, Vermont, in 1939, and the new world that greeted Norman offered the perfect material for the artist to draw from.

Rockwell’s success stemmed to a large degree from his careful appreciation for everyday American scenes, the warmth of small-town life in particular. Often what he depicted was treated with a certain simple charm and sense of humor. Some critics dismissed him for not having real artistic merit, but Rockwell’s reasons for painting what he did were grounded in the world that was around him. “Maybe as I grew up and found the world wasn’t the perfect place I had thought it to be, I unconsciously decided that if it wasn’t an ideal world, it should be, and so painted only the ideal aspects of it,” he once said.

Rockwell didn’t completely ignore the issues of the day. In 1943, inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he painted the Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. The paintings appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post and proved incredibly popular. The paintings toured the United States and raised in excess of $130 million toward the war effort.

In 1953 the Rockwells moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where Norman would spend the rest of his life.

Following Mary’s death in 1959, Rockwell married a third time, to Molly Punderson, a retired teacher. With Molly’s encouragement, Rockwell ended his relationship with the Saturday Evening Post and began doing covers for Look magazine. His focus also changed, as he turned more of his attention to the social issues facing the country. Much of the work centered on themes concerning poverty, race and the Vietnam War.

In the final decade of his life, Rockwell created a trust to ensure his artistic legacy would thrive long after his passing. His work became the centerpiece of what is now called the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

In 1977—one year before his death—Rockwell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Gerald Ford. In his speech Ford said, “Artist, illustrator and author, Norman Rockwell has portrayed the American scene with unrivaled freshness and clarity. Insight, optimism and good humor are the hallmarks of his artistic style. His vivid and affectionate portraits of our country and ourselves have become a beloved part of the American tradition.”

It is estimated he painted over 4,000 pieces of original art in his lifetime, along with thousands of test paintings.  Norman Rockwell died at his home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on November 8, 1978.


Watch This!

If you’ve ever been touched by Rockwell’s art, you must spend 46 minutes of your life with this beautifully produced show about his life at


The top ten list: (top to bottom, left to right, details below)  #10 – Ecstasy of Saint Teresa; #9 – Pieta; #8 – David by Donatello; #7 – The Great Sphinx of Giza; #6 – Christ the Redeemer; #5 – Manneken Pis; #4– The Thinker; #3 – Venus de Milo; #2 – David by Michelangelo; And coming in at #1 – The one and only Statue of Liberty!!!

Artist.  Creators.  Sculptors.  Words you may not acquaint with your heat treat partner (I beg to differ).  Last week I had the opportunity to accompany my team to resurging Detroit MI and attend the HEAT TREAT 19 – 30th Heat Treating Society Conference and Expo.  What a show it was, with a record number of great suppliers and great companies, all together to share their expertise.  Yes, KHT was there – proudly bragging about our customers and our solutions to your PIA (Pain In The @%$) Jobs!  Tons of booth traffic, fun and of course amazing food!  At a show of this prominence, only one booth can be brave enough to display a piece of art – yep you guessed it, your friends from KHT.  With the help of my awesome team, and incredibly creative business partners, we were able to unveil an amazing sculpture. A special thanks to Walder Studios for the creative vision, Dynamic Design Solutions the fabrication and Cleveland Black Oxide and American Japanning for the surface protection!   Part Michelangelo, part David (pron.  dah veed), we took some of your amazing products and created … well, a masterpiece.  Of course, we couldn’t let it just sit there, so we added motion (scroll to the bottom to see the video).  Many thanks to you our customers, that inspire us to be art-isans (part artists, part heat treating craftsmen).  Here are the 10 most famous sculptures in the world (could KHT be an up and comer? – if I make the list, you can refer to me as “steph aahn).  Please help me name it (email me your ideas at  Enjoy and thanks for the info.

  • Among the oldest sculptures discovered to date is the Lion-man, which was found in 1939 in a German cave. It is between 35,000 and 40,000 years old and belongs to the prehistoric period, or the period before the invention of writing.
  • Another iconic prehistoric sculpture is Venus of Willendorf, a 4.4 inch figurine portraying a woman. It was found in Austria and is estimated to have been carved between 24,000 and 22,000 BCE.
  • The earliest sculpture on our top 11 is the Great Sphinx of Giza, the oldest known monumental sculpture from ancient Egypt. In ancient Greece and Rome, sculptures were often made to honor the various Gods or to show the greatness of the kings.
  • Venus de Milo, portraying the Greek goddess of love and beauty, is perhaps the most famous work of ancient Greek sculpture.
  • During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine (AD 306 – 337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire and, with time, European sculpture began to depict Biblical characters and stories. Among the most famous of such artworks are the statues of David by Renaissance artists Donatello and Michelangelo.
  • The most famous piece of modern sculpture is perhaps The Thinker, created by the French artist Auguste Rodin.

#10 – Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1652)
Location: Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, Italy
Sculptor: Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Saint Teresa of Avila was a Spanish nun who claimed to have experienced divine visions in which she would suddenly feel consumed by the love of God, feel the bodily presence of Christ or of angels, and be lifted to an exalted state of ecstasy. She described these visions in her writings. In 1622, forty years after her death, Teresa was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. This sculpture depicts one of the visions described by her in her spiritual autobiography. In it, an angel carrying a fire-tipped spear appears before her. He pierces her heart repeatedly with the spear, an act that sends her into a state of spiritual rapture. Gian Lorenzo Bernini is regarded as a pioneer of Baroque sculpture, a style the flourished in Europe from early 17th to late 18th century. In this masterpiece, Bernini takes the principles of the Baroque; drama, emotion and theatricality; to unparalleled heights. Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is the most renowned work of one of the most influential sculptors of all time.

#9 – Pieta (1499)
Location: St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
Sculptor: Michelangelo
Michelangelo, active during the Renaissance, is widely regarded as the most influential sculptor of all time. He was just 24 at the time of completion of the Pieta, which was soon regarded as one of the world’s great masterpieces of sculpture. Pieta, as a theme in Christian art, depicts Virgin Mary supporting the body of the dead Christ after the Crucifixion. Though the subject is not a part of the Biblical narrative of the Crucifixion, it has been widely represented in both European painting and sculpture. This famous work depicts Virgin Mary grieving over the body of Jesus who is lying on her lap after the Crucifixion. At the time of its completion, some observers criticized Michelangelo for showing Mary too youthful to have a son who was 33 years old. Michelangelo defended himself by saying that her youth symbolizes her incorruptible purity. Pieta is the only sculpture ever signed by Michelangelo. The sculptor’s signature can be seen across Mary’s chest.

#8 – David (1440s)
Location: Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy
Sculptor: Donatello
The Bronze David is renowned for being the first large-scale free-standing nude statue since antiquity. It is also the first unsupported standing work of bronze cast during the Renaissance. It depicts David, of the story of David and Goliath, holding the sword of his defeated enemy and with his foot on Goliath’s severed head. David is completely naked, apart from a laurel-topped hat and boots. The well-proportioned and delicate figure of David bears contrast with the giant sword in his hand, perhaps indicating the assistance of God in his achieving the incredible feat. Donatello is regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Renaissance and he was the leading sculptor of its early period. Among other things, he gave a different direction to Western sculpture taking it away from the prevalent Gothic style to the Classical style. Donatello produced a clothed marble statue of David in Gothic style in 1409 but it is nowhere as famous as the Bronze David, which is executed in Classical style and considered his greatest masterpiece.

#7 – The Great Sphinx of Giza
Location: Giza Plateau, Giza, Egypt
Sculptor: Not Known
One of the most famous monuments in the world, the Great Sphinx of Giza is a giant limestone statue of a sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. It is 240 feet (73 m) long from paw to tail; stands 66 feet (20 m) high from the base to the top of the head; and is 62 feet (19 m) wide at its rear haunches. The Great Sphinx is the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt and, for centuries, it was the largest sculpture in the world. However, not much in known about the monument. Scholars remain in disagreement over when the Great Sphinx was constructed and for whom. The most popular view is that it represents the Pharaoh Khafre of the 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom and thus it was constructed during his reign which lasted from 2558 BCE to 2532 BCE. According to some recent studies the Sphinx was built as long ago as 7000 BC suggesting that the statue was the work of an advanced civilization predating the ancient Egyptians. However, traditional Egyptologists reject this view.

#6 – Christ the Redeemer (1931)
Location: Corcovado mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sculptor: Paul Landowski
In 1921, the Roman Catholic Circle of Rio de Janeiro proposed the construction of a statue of Jesus Christ on Mount Corcovado. The commanding height of the summit, 2,310 feet (704 m), would make the statue visible from anywhere in Rio. Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costawas chosen to design the statue while French sculptor Paul Landowski created the work. Silva Costa worked in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot while Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face of the statue. Christ the Redeemer, known as Cristo Redentor in native Portuguese, was completed in 1931. It stands 98 feet (30 m) tall excluding its 26 feet (8 m) pedestal. Horizontally, the outstretched arms of Christ span 92 feet (28 m). Christ the Redeemer has become a symbol of Christianity across the world. It is a cultural icon of both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. The statue was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the Worldin a 21st century poll with more than 100 million votes.

#5 – Manneken Pis (1619)
Location: Museum of the City of Brussels, Belgium
Sculptor: Hieronymus Duquesnoy the Elder
The name of this statue literally means “peeing little man” or “peeing boy”. It is a small bronze sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. It is located in the center of Brussels at the junction of the road Rue du Chene and the pedestrian Rue de l’Etuve. The Manneken Pis is considered an emblem of the rebellious spirit of Brussels and it is one of the most famous attractions in the city. The statue gained in importance by the end of the 17th century and its popularity has grown since then making it “an object of glory appreciated by all and renowned throughout the world”. There are numerous legends associated with the Manneken Pis. He is dressed in costumes several times each week and his wardrobe consists of around one thousand different costumes. He has received gifts from lords and kings and has been abducted and saved several times. The current statue is a copy which dates from 1965. The original is kept at the Museum of the City of Brussels.

#4 – The Thinker (1904)
Location: Musee Rodin, Paris, France
Sculptor: Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin was a towering figure in the field of sculpture who is widely considered the father of modern sculpture. He originally conceived this statue as part of a large commission, begun in 1880, for a doorway surround called The Gates of Hell. Rodin based this commission on The Divine Comedy of Dante and some critics believe that The Thinker originally intended to depict Dante. Many marble and bronze editions of The Thinker in several sizes were executed during the lifetime of Rodin and even after his death. However, the most famous version is the 6 feel (1.8 m) tall bronze statue that was cast in 1904 and that sits in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in Paris. This image of a man lost in thought, but whose powerful body suggests a great capacity for action, has become one of the most celebrated sculptures ever known. The Thinker was originally named The Poet and it is often used as an image to represent philosophy. It is the most famous work of the greatest modern sculptor.

#3 – Venus de Milo (between 130 BCE and 100 BCE)
Location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Sculptor: probably Alexandros of Antioch
It is generally believed that this statue was discovered on 8th April 1820 by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas. He found it in pieces on Milosa Greek island in the Aegean Sea. The sculpture was subsequently presented to King Louis XVIII of France who then gave it to the Louvre, where it is on display to this very day. Also known as Aphrodite of Milos, Venus de Milo is thought to represent Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation. The Roman goddess counterpart to Aphrodite was Venus. The statue is believed to have been carved by Alexandros of Antioch, a sculptor of the Hellenistic period. Apart from the much discussed mystery about its missing arms, it was originally draped in jewelry including a bracelet, earrings and a headband. However, all these things have been long lost. Venus de Milo is perhaps the most famous work of ancient Greek sculpture. It has been widely referenced in popular culture and has greatly influenced modern artists including Salvador Dali.

#2 – David (1504)
Location: Accademia Gallery, Florence, Italy
Sculptor: Michelangelo
In 1501, the city government of Florence commissioned Michelangelo to create this statue as part of a series to adorn the roof-line of Florence’s cathedral dome. However, upon its completion, they were so overwhelmed by its beauty that it was decided to place it in wide-view next to the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence. The marble sculpture was moved in 1873 to the Gallery of the Academy, an art museum in Florence. A replica was placed at its original location in 1910. Michelangelo’s David most likely represents the Biblical hero David after he has made up his mind to fight Goliath but before the actual fight. This is unlike earlier Renaissance depictions of David which show him after the fight and include some part of the giant Goliath. Michelangelo masterfully depicts the Biblical hero with his brow drawn, his neck tense and his veins bulging out of his lowered right hand. David is the most famous sculpture of perhaps the greatest sculptor of all time. It is one of the best-known artworks in the world.

 #1 – Statue of Liberty (1886)
Location: Liberty Island, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Sculptor: Frederic Auguste Bartholdi
Liberty, a personification of the concept of liberty, has existed as a goddess in many cultures. Since the French Revolution, the figure of Liberty is viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic. This renowned copper statue was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States. It was designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and built by renowned French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel. The Statue of Liberty depicts the Roman goddess Libertas holding a torch above her head with her right hand and in her left hand she is carrying a tablet on which is inscribed in Roman numerals the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. As an American icon, the Statue of Liberty has been depicted on the country’s coinage and stamps. It has also become an international icon of freedom. It was described as a “masterpiece of the human spirit” and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. One of the best-known monuments, the Statue of Liberty is the most famous sculpture in the world.


The Kowalski Heat Treating booth at Heat Treat 2019 in Detroit, MI. The sculpture was a huge hit!!




“That’s Not Art”

(top row left) Entrance of the Exhibition, 1913, New York City; (top row right) Interior view of the exhibition; (second row left) Edvard Munch-Vampire (1895); (second row right top) Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and Villon’s dog Pipe in the garden of Villon’s studio, Puteaux, France, ca. 1913. All three brothers were included in the exhibition. (second row center) Walter_Pach,_circa_1909; (second row right bottom) Arthur B. Davies, circa 1908; (third row left) Mary Cassatt, Mère et enfant (Reine Lefebre and Margot before a Window), c.1902; (third row right) Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, c. 1887; (fourth row left) Pierre-Auguste Renoir, In The Garden 1885; (fourth row right top) Henri Rousseau, Jaguar Attacking a Horse, 1910; (fourth row right bottom) Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Pastorals, 1898; (fifth row left) A list written in 1912 by Pablo Picasso of European artists he felt should be included in the 1913 Armory Show. This document dispels the assertion that an unbridgeable divide separated the Salon Cubists from the Gallery Cubists. (fifth row right) Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912.


Throughout history, and throughout our companies, we often experience events that are real game changers. For us, it can be small things, like a certain person we hire who changes our perspectives, an investment in a new piece equipment that creates a new market opportunity, a treatment approach that solves a dilemma, or a customer who challenges us with a “real” PIA (pain in the @#$) Job!. Once the event takes place and the challenge overcome, things are just never the same. Sometimes we sit around and often laugh, reflecting back, telling “remember when” stories (think of your first cell phone). So many good, unexpected things that have happened over the years combine to make us what we are today. And the coolest part is, it’s sort of instilled a real positive, “give it a try” attitude with my team.

For me as chief bottle washer, I love it when my staff comes in and shows me how they solved a problem, or tried a new approach, and it works. We like to take time and celebrate the milestones, share the ideas, and best of all, tell you, our customers.

  • This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to the Cleveland Museum of Art – just a “day out” with my favorite “pal” – we had a blast. Inspired, I decided to write about another “event” which took place, that changed the American art world forever. Known as the NY Armory Show, a group of over 100 artists came together to share their work with the world. As often happens with “new” art, onlookers were amazed and shocked. President Teddy Roosevelt, threatening to shut down the show, decried “That’s Not Art”, joined by unhappy critics, writers and historians. Outrage was the common response. Delight was the feelings of the artists, who came together to share their new ideas, techniques and approaches. Thanks to Wikipedia, here are just some of the highlights:
  • On December, 14 1911 an early meeting of what would become the Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS) was organized at Madison Gallery in New York. Four artists met to discuss the contemporary art scene in the United States, and the possibilities of organizing exhibitions of progressive artworks by living American and foreign artists, favoring works ignored or rejected by current exhibitions.
  • The AAPS members spent more than a year planning their first project: the International Exhibition of Modern Art, a show of giant proportions, unlike any New York had seen. The 69th Regiment Armory was settled on as the main site, designed to “lead the public taste in art, rather than follow it, rented for a fee of $5,000, plus an additional $500 for additional personnel.
  • Once the space had been secured, the most complicated planning task was selecting the art for the show, particularly after the decision was made to include a large proportion of vanguard European work, most of which had never been seen by an American audience.
  • Together, the key organizers went to Europe, and secured three paintings that would end up being among the Armory Show’s most famous and polarizing: Matisse’s “Blue Nude (Souvenir de Biskra)” and “Madras Rouge (Red Madras Headdress),”and Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.”
  • The Armory Show displayed some 1,300 paintings, sculptures, and decorative works by over 300 avant-garde European and American artists. Impressionist, Fauvist, and Cubist works were represented in 18 distinct gallery areas.
  • News reports and reviews were filled with accusations of quackery, insanity, immorality, and anarchy, as well as parodies, caricatures, doggerels and mock exhibitions. About the modern works, former President Theodore Roosevelt declared, “That’s not art!”. The civil authorities did not, however, close down or otherwise interfere with the show.

Here is a partial list of the artists in the show – I highlighted some of my favorites. Just imagine these differing artists, styles and statements all in one show – WOW!

Robert Ingersoll Aitken, Alexander Archipenko, George Grey Barnard, Chester Beach, Gifford Beal, Maurice Becker, George Bellows, Joseph Bernard, Guy Pène du Bois, Oscar Bluemner, Pierre Bonnard, Solon Borglum, Antoine Bourdelle, Constantin Brâncuși, Georges Braque, Bessie Marsh Brewer, Patrick Henry Bruce, Paul Burlin, Theodore Earl Butler, Charles Camoin, Arthur Carles, Mary Cassatt, Oscar Cesare, Paul Cézanne, Robert Winthrop Chanler, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, John Frederick Mowbray-Clarke, Nessa Cohen, Camille Corot, Kate Cory, Gustave Courbet, Henri-Edmond Cross, Leon Dabo, Andrew Dasburg, Honoré Daumier, Jo Davidson, Arthur B. Davies (President), Stuart Davis, Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, Robert Delaunay, Maurice Denis, André Derain, Katherine Sophie Dreier, Marcel Duchamp, Georges Dufrénoy, Raoul Dufy, Jacob Epstein, Mary Foote, Roger de La Fresnaye, Othon Friesz, Paul Gauguin, William Glackens, Albert Gleizes, Vincent van Gogh, Francisco Goya, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Ferdinand Hodler, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, James Dickson Innes, Augustus John, Gwen John, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Leon Kroll, Walt Kuhn (Founder), Gaston Lachaise, Marie Laurencin, Ernest Lawson, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Arthur Lee, Fernand Léger, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Jonas Lie, George Luks, Aristide Maillol, Édouard Manet, Henri Manguin, Edward Middleton Manigault, John Marin, Albert Marquet, Henri Matisse, Alfred Henry Maurer, Kenneth Hayes Miller, David Milne, Claude Monet, Adolphe Monticelli, Edvard Munch, Ethel Myers, Jerome Myers (Founder), Elie Nadelman, Olga Oppenheimer, Walter Pach, Jules Pascin, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Maurice Prendergast, Odilon Redon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Boardman Robinson, Theodore Robinson, Auguste Rodin, Georges Rouault, Henri Rousseau, Morgan Russell, Albert Pinkham Ryder, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Georges Seurat, Charles Sheeler, Walter Sickert, Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley, John Sloan, Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Joseph Stella, Felix E. Tobeen, John Henry Twachtman, Félix Vallotton, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Jacques Villon, Maurice de Vlaminck, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, Édouard Vuillard, Abraham Walkowitz, J. Alden Weir, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Enid Yandell, Jack B. Yeats, Mahonri Young, Marguerite Zorach, William Zorach



For those of you in Cleveland looking to experience some great art this weekend, check out Brite Winter on Saturday. It’s a free art and music festival held in the Flats West Bank on Saturday, February 18th, 3PM–1AM.