I try to give my work a feeling of timelessness and age -- like relics dug up from some ancient tomb. The marks on their surfaces are a visual vocabulary I have developed with stamping tools of my own design and making. They not only decorate but directly shape the metal. The displacement they cause serves to further develop and enhance the sculptural form. Working with heated steel allows me incredible freedom and spontaneity, in both design and execution, not possible with other methods.
My "squashed containers" developed out of my love for the way that heated solid metal shapes are distorted when pressed and squeezed and from trying to control and enhance that distortion to create sculptural shapes. They speak of architecture, and are vaguely house-like. Their power comes from their mass and the size of the voids in them. The marks on their surfaces evoke the feel of Chinese bronzes or pre-Colombian temple carvings.
My totem sculptures and ancestor figures are clearly influenced
by my studies of the art of tribal cultures. They are a part of
me that seem to jump out with little premeditation and may be
linked to my spiritual search for our common ancient ancestors.
The stamped marks are graphic talismen that give these works an
enigmatic feel. Different emotions are evoked by the arrangement
of their facial features, gestures, and body language. As a result,
some of the pieces are very stern; others are more
I am currently involved in using my stamping tools to create
sculpture and objects with textural patterns, and positive-negative
images. My best work seems to come from my hot-work experiments;
letting the heated metal lead me. That sense of discovery, immediacy,
and surprise is what I enjoy
most about being a hot-metal artist.
I have heard that there are two kinds of people: those who
step toward a fire and those who back away from it. I have always
been drawn toward the fire.