MY FRIEND STEVE, married to my friend Jackie, is an artist. Oh, he may not term himself as such and he prefers you call his creations artwerk rather than artwork. Seems more masculine, this bulk of a guy claims.
Conduit, pipes and metal transformed into art for placement on Steve’s wooded acreage.
But I am 100 percent certain that the art Steve crafts from what many would term junk qualifies him as a bonafide artist. He’s even dumpster dived for art materials and salvaged items from scrap piles.
Circles and spirals appear often in Steve’s art.
For now this one-time welder pursues his art passion as a hobby. I’m convinced he could sell his pieces or create works on commission and have suggested such to him. He’s already selected a business name—Big “N” Ugly’s Iron Werks. Catchy. But Steve is certainly not ugly. If I remember correctly, the name relates to some crazy story from his past.
Discarded plumbing provides materials for art in a flower garden.
Jackie wishes this flowerbed faucet art was functional.
Oversized chimes crafted from discarded clothing racks (etc.) and strung high in a tree.
He’s transformed clothing racks, tape measures, a springform pan, old faucets, a grater, conduit and more into visual, and sometimes functional, art. The pieces are strategically placed on the couple’s wooded creekside property just off a quiet county road northeast of Medford. I love their land and many times have wished aloud that I desire to retreat here until all stress has exited my life.
Conduit turned art.
A portable outdoor functioning sink created with old faucets, springform pan, plastic pipes and more.
On a recent steamy summer Sunday afternoon, Steve and Jackie invited my husband and me to tour their outdoor sculpture garden featuring Steve’s vast collection of original art.
The close-up spirals on one of Steve’s pieces.
A full view of the same piece above and one of the bridges Steve built.
Even old tape measures are worked into his art.
To view his pieces is to wonder how he can possibly come up with ideas to twist and shape and bend and sculpt cast-offs into abstract art that grabs your attention for its uniqueness, cleverness and artsy appeal.
A practical use for an otherwise useless washer agitator, repurposed as a beverage holder.
Boat seats repurposed as a seating area on a retaining wall.
Who thinks of using a vintage grinder for art, then suspending it in a tree? Steve.
Talk to Steve about his artwerk and you hear his unbridled enthusiasm. This is what he’s meant to do. To create. Artwerk.
Steve has built several of these sheds, this one graced with some of the art he’s crafted.
Seriously, how does one shape barbed wire into a ball?
A snippet of an art piece dangling high in the trees.
FYI: If you are interested in purchasing Steve’s art or having him create a piece on commission, let me know via a comment here or in an email (see my “about” page). I’m tapping Steve’s creative brain about a metal headboard from my childhood. Believe me, he can turn anything into art. Anything.
Steve did not want a photo of himself published, which is why you’re not seeing one here. I have one, but…I will honor his request.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling