I create abstract sculpture from steel pipe.
I am drawn to the strength of metal and it’s ability to hold curved linear shapes. I enjoy the process of getting dirty and manipulating a material that shouldn’t be malleable. I love taking a raw material, like a pipe , that is extremely static and creating a vibrant and original object. I enjoy the heat and sparks and ambiguity that are part of the creative process. I like that I am recycling a utilitarian, unromantic extremely practical material that has generally been overlooked by other artists. Each of my sculptures are completely unique. There is no casting or duplication of any kind.
I focus on creating light, delicate free form shapes which capture the essence of movement and are visually engaging. The base material naturally lends itself to objects with strong negative space and tension. Many of the finished forms spring to life when gently touched and most cast interesting shadows when they are lit. Smooth lines encourage the viewer to move around the work.
Some of my work is composed of simple forms like squares and circles arranged in visually rhythmic patterns, and the archetypal spiral shape resonates through most of my work. Depending on the complexity of the piece, there is usually at least one stage where the creative process is extremely spontaneous and unpredictable. This is most true with the spiral shapes and the repeating circular patterns. In my Silhouette series I utilize patterns and templates to create simple yet detailed figures as a form of storytelling and an homage to fashion.
There is very little rework of the cutting and bending process. Due to my relatively simple tools and fabrication technique some elements of my work have an imperfect unrefined feel. This roughness and simplicity contrasts nicely with the visual complexity of the overall sculptural composition. Some work gets polished to a high shine, on other pieces I preserve the texture of the natural rust patina accumulated from years in the weather. These elements can be said to reflect the aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi, that is to be imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
Unlike most metal sculptors who create either by casting or by welding objects together in an additive fashion, I work more like a stone carver- removing material to create forms and shapes, adding mostly space. This is a technique I call subtractive fabrication.
My work is most often in the 5’ - 7’ range. This creates a an approachable sized object that I refer to as human scale. They are large enough for the composition to be viewed from a distance, but detailed enough to engage the viewers visual attention up close. My work naturally developed to this scale because of the size constraints of transporting pipe in a pick up truck, and because I don’t have mechanical lifts in my studio. Six to seven foot lengths of steel pipe is the comfortable limit for my manpower and tools working by myself..
I find creative inspiration in fabrics, symbols and myths, nature, the human form, tattoo imagery, fashion, architecture and advertising. I am self taught. I have created more than 180 large pieces of stylistically consistent yet varied sculpture during a 17 year career.