I’ve been a wood worker and carpenter since high school, so I’ve been making and building things for a very long time. I made a few art pieces 40 years ago (including some crude mobiles) when I shared an apartment building with a couple of inspiring guys who have been full-time artists ever since.
I took a welding class when I lived in Santa Fe so I could make hanging and standing mobiles, which I did for the first five years. I enjoyed making them because they are one of the few art forms that are intended to move, constantly changing shape. Plus, they present the engineering challenge of making the whole thing balance.
Later I got inspired to start making wood laminate art, something I’d always wanted to do. It’s a culmination of all the work I’ve done so far, because it requires bending and welding steel to make the forms, and various wood working skills and tools to cut, bend, glue and sand the wood. All of the techniques are my own, I haven’t taken any classes, so I guess I’ve worked my way up to this point.
Like most artists, I get ideas from everywhere: galleries, nature, common objects, and of course, other artists. Many times I’ve seen something in a gallery or a magazine article and said to myself, “I can make that.” Then I spent whatever time and money it took to produce something new and cool.
My hero Alexander Calder made 3,300 art pieces in his life, and he made most of his big monumental stuff when he was in his 60s and 70s. I’m 66 years old and just finished #82. There’s still hope!