I grew up working on my uncle's farm. I remember watching him fix broken farm machinery and thought it was interesting. He inspired my work ethic, for which I credit him to this day. During my junior and senior year in high school, I enrolled in the vocational welding program, and I got a job at a welding fabrication shop right after graduating from high school. I worked as a welder there for 13 years. I learned how to weld steel, cast iron, stainless and aluminum, as well as how to read blueprints to build all kinds of projects. During that time I started making small sculptures periodically.
I became a truck driver for 36 years. Owning six trucks and maintaining them created a lot of truck parts that I saved to make things with someday. I had a vision to collect all kinds of things so that when I retired I could support my hobby of making sculptures. During that time I went to sales and accumulated anything I thought looked like it could be transformed into worthy art form. People started bringing me junk, and I would make them something to thank them.
I make about everything that my junk inventory lets me make: birds, vultures, dogs, cats, frogs, tractors, trees, bushes, motorcycles, turtles, birdhouses, gates, herons, bird baths, golfers, flowers, fish, owls, deer mounts ... the list is endless! People like to know what some of the parts are that I use to make things, and I can generally tell them what I used or where the junk came from. I was at a sale years ago where I had bought all kinds of shovels and rakes. A lady came up to me and asked me what I was going to do with them. I told her I was going to make birds out of them. She told me that her late father owned them and she was there settling the estate sale. She asked if I could make something out of them for her and her sister, and said she would pay me. I couldn’t say no. She was a school teacher in Saudi Arabia at that time and had to go back over there. Now she lives on her father's farm; when I drive by, I see those birds I made under a tree in the yard.
That is what yard art should be: a reflection of the past with a good story for the future.
I have had people tell me that my sculptures have personality. I made a cat for an older lady, and she sent me a letter telling me that the cat encompassed every cat she had owned over the years. She named the cat sculpture Rusty.
I made a variety of sculptures for a lady that lost her dad a few years back with junk she collected from her dad's sale. Those are the ones I take a special pride in making.
I hope I live long enough to use all my rusty junk. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I enjoy every minute of it.
Take a few minutes to look at my gallery that showcases some of the work I've done and give me a call to discuss ideas for your project.