Artist Kevin Caron's latest sculpture, The Runner, may look simple, but don't be fooled. "It has just six sections, but there is a lot of balance and behind-the-scenes complexity in this sculpture," explains Phoenix, Arizona-based Caron.

He originally conceived of The Runner when commissioned to create a public art sculpture for the city of Chandler, Arizona. They chose another design (The Seed, which you can see at ), but Caron couldn't forget this sculpture.

Now, four years later, he has finally created it, nine feet tall. "I just couldn't get this piece out of my mind," he admits. Ironically, the sculpture will debut at a solo show at Chandler's Center for the Arts. "That part is a coincidence," says Caron.

Creating the artwork required some deep thought and, well, trickery. "My goal was to make it look like the sculpture was balancing precariously as it rose into the air," he explains. Caron is known for sculptures that tease the eye and mind.

By using heavier plate metal for the bottom segments, Caron was able to make the foundation of the piece very heavy. As he worked up to the other "bricks," the metal got thinner. The first two bricks are 1/4" plate steel, the third "brick" is half 1/4" and half 1/8" steel, while the top two "bricks" are made of 1/8" plate. That puts the majority of the sculpture's 1,100 pounds at its bottom, which helps the sculpture stand.

Working with the different gauges and requirements meant Caron wanted to use different welding processes. "This was the first time I used Longevity's ProMTS 200 Multiprocess Welder," says Caron. "I couldn't have picked a better project."

As he explains in his video "Tips and Tricks for Longevity's ProMTS 200 Multiprocess Welder" ( ), he was able to use the stick, or arc welder, function to do his structural welds. "It came in especially handy on those heavy bottom 'bricks,'" says Caron. On those heaviest plate sections, he also used the arc for some of the visible outside welds. "I seemed to have less porosity using arc."

As he worked his way up the sculpture, though, Caron used the stick welder for the inside structural welds, then moved around some cables, and used either the MIG or TIG for the outside welds (see how he switched from TIG to MIG to arc in the video at ). "It's more important that those welds are pretty," he explains. Too, in some tight places, he definitely wanted to do as little clean-up as possible, so TIG was his preferred welding process.

"I wasn't sure if the ProMTS was for me, but this convinced me," says Caron. "I didn't have to drag out three different machines and trip over cords, swap out grounds, and all of that. It was super easy to switch a few cables and keep welding."

You can see The Runner, which now has its final patina, on Caron's site at

See Caron's weekly videos on YouTube at

Kevin Caron's sculpture The Runner just barely making it out the door at his Phoenix, Arizona, studio, in preparation for getting its final finish