I was born in PA, raised in WV, and have lived in central Florida since 1995. I am a self-taught artist and welder. I started out restoring old cars, that’s where I learned the basics of welding. I really enjoyed it and in 2006 I started creating sculptures from scrap metal parts as a hobby and doing local Florida shows. I love creating things. You see a rusty old wrench; I see a lizard. I travel from yard sale to yard sale and even check the occasional trash heap and usually find all kinds of unique rubbish to get my imagination going. Half the fun of creating a sculpture is hunting for the parts to go into it. I like that I am taking what some would consider junk and turning it into art.
One of the most common questions patrons ask is, “How do you do this?” I usually tell them, “welcome to my mind,” because I find it difficult to explain the process. I just see what could be, start designing in my mind, find the parts that fit and let it flow. I use tools, kitchen items, car parts, and any other scrap metal if it takes the shape. I don’t clean parts before creation; all materials are used in their found state. I puzzle out the shape and then weld it all into place with a wire fed MiG welder. I enjoy watching people puzzle out what a sculpture is made from.
I remember when I was about 13, I found a nut and bolt Don Quixote sculpture at a yard sale. I still have it! I told my mom that I wanted to make stuff like that and she was the type that encouraged creativity. She told me “you can do anything!” The seed was planted and now, years later, here I am. I’m doing it! I am often inspired by nature and a part I find that “speaks” to me until I make it into a sculpture. I enjoy creating them and am always looking to make people smile.