Originally created 02/20/00

Heavy metal



When metal sculptor Daniel Foreman walked into an old, deserted handkerchief factory in downtown Augusta three years ago, he had no idea that he would end up spending thousands of hours there, slowly transforming the dark, two-story building into a hip nightclub. That club is Continuum, a new haven for fans of loud, industrial rock (and, on Thursdays, jazz).

"I was only there because this lady asked me if I could dismount some of the old machines that were standing there," Mr. Foreman says with a smile, recalling his first visit to 943 Ellis St. "But of course, the size and cheapness of the place attracted me, and I ended up buying it."

It is somehow fitting that someone like the 29-year-old Mr. Foreman would end up giving new life to an old handkerchief factory. After all, he has spent his whole life giving new life to broken, used-up pieces of metal junk, including dented hubcaps, tangled strips of wire and steel girders.

"When I grew up, in Venice, Florida, my family lived right next-door to a scrap yard, and I used to go over there all the time," he says.

The interior of Continuum is filled with Mr. Foreman's work, including tables, lamps and various ornaments that defy description -- some looking vaguely like metallic birds, others like nothing you've ever seen. The most eye-catching object, however, is a round booth made up of circuit boards. Inside there's a computer, which Mr. Foreman says symbolizes the future, or the year 2030, to be exact.

"The theme of this club is time-travel," he explains, pointing toward the multiple TV screens and the occasional antique, such as an old cash register. "It's basically a mix between the 1930s and the 2030s. We will have jazz and blues bands performing on Thursdays, and on all other nights it'll be a mix of industrial rock, house and jungle."

Mr. Foreman knows about opening a club. He was one of the driving forces behind Atlanta's acclaimed Scrap Bar, another club filled with garbage-turned-art that was regularly visited by the Black Crowes and other rock stars in its heyday.

But the Scrap Bar closed a couple of years ago. "It was badly run," Mr. Foreman laments, and renting studios in Atlanta was too expensive.

After that venture ended, Mr. Foreman came to Augusta to design and build the interior of La Dolce Vita salon, 1141 Broad St. During the month and a half it took him to complete that job, he found a studio and other opportunities for work downtown. More of his work can be seen in the Soul Bar and Perry and Co. salon, both on Broad Street.

Mr. Foreman co-owns Continuum with a partner, Josh Williamson, who's also involved with the Firehouse bar on Broad Street.

When he isn't tending to the new club, Mr. Foreman is often found in his studio upstairs creating furniture out of scrap metal, which he later sells.

"When I go to the scrap yard I usually have an idea of what I want to make," he says, "but I'll take anything with an interesting shape or form that might be useful."

Apart from the stark, intriguing beauty of scrap metal, it also holds one great advantage over most other material for the beginning sculptor; it's very, very cheap. Actually, for Mr. Foreman, it's absolutely free.

"I get to take whatever I want from the CMC scrap yard," he says, grinning. "That's pretty cool."

If you go

What: Continuum, a nightclub featuring the work of metal sculptor Daniel Foreman

Where: 943 Ellis St.

Hours: 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays

Admission: Cover charge varies. Must be at least 21.

Telephone: 722-2582

Reach Jon Forsling at (706) 724-0851.