A B & I graphic

188    A B & I (American Brass & Iron):

Edition of 2056 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125; 26 are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, 13 copies are signed as dedication copies and three sets are signed as progressives.

September 27, 2000 10 colors 16-7/8" x 24"

Client: Allan Boscacci, President, A B & I, 7825 San Leandro Street, Oakland, California 94621 Telephone: (510) 632-3467

Model: Foundryman at A B & I

1-125: Saint Hieronymus Press A-Z: Artist's own use

Dedication copies: 12 copies signed to A B & I; Chris Thompson Progressives: One set to Allan Boscacci, two sets to Saint Hieronymus Press


Our hearts are constantly scorched, burnt and melted down by some disaster or another. Sometimes it's love that levels the flamethrower and sometimes it's hatred. Sometimes it's sorrow at the loss of a loved one -- a lifelong friend, a sibling dead, a child, a spouse, a parent gone forever, never to be seen again. Each time the refining fire burns out a bit more of the selfish weakness that we are all born with and that if we live long enough will -- ideally at least -- be completely replaced with strength and compassion.

Too bad we can't start out as Metal Men, with lungs of brass and hearts of steel. But then of course we wouldn't get any better because emotion would not touch us. Since we can only learn by making mistakes, then recognizing that we have erred and trying again, we lead lives littered with sins of omission and commission and scatter pain with a broad and liberal hand without meaning to do any harm at all. Or worse yet, meaning well and misunderstanding what the road to Hell is paved with.

One of the more intriguing heresies of the early Church embraced the notion that the greater the sin the greater the forgiveness. In keeping with this idea, we should therefore glorify God by committing immense sins so that His mercy might be exalted. The Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, expressed the slightly less dangerous concept that the forgiveness of God is infinite, and since from birth and by nature we are each one of us steeped in iniquity we should therefore commit our inevitable sins without terror, as we may be certain of God's mercy. It's something of a step from Original Sin to the ordinary mistakes, gaffes, insults and hurts we all deliver to one another every day, but the principal still applies. Pecca Fortiter -- sin bravely, as we are sure of the forgiveness of those who love us. Besides, we are not Metal Men, and we have no choice.