My art reflects my teachers as well as the availability of specific tools and development of my technique. Early on I studied under David Boyajian at The Sculpture Barn in New Fairfield, CT. Dave is a really talented sculptor, and for me was especially good at teaching the “art” aspect of metal sculpture. He encouraged my use of recycled street signs and advertisements. I learned to create compositions using these items, exploiting the color and line they provided to create depth in my work.
At The Sculpture Barn, I had access to a large slip roll (a 4’ long motorized machine designed to curl sheets and other metal stock). I also had access to a large nibbler, which is a motorized tool that cuts sheets of metal by “nibbling” successive bites in straight or curved lines. The slip roll and nibbler allowed me to roll and cut unique curves into sheet metal. Without those tools, my scroll cuts and smooth curves at that early point in my work wouldn’t have been possible.
In 2010 I moved to work at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, CT with Robert Perrucci. Bob is a fantastic metal fabricator and trained metalworkers for years at a local shop. With him I began to focus on long, hardcore welds using thick metal. I pushed myself, and he pushed me, to become a better and better welder.
Now I have most of the machines and tools described above in my own studio. I miss the camaraderie of welding next to other artists, but the time I save on driving gives me more time to weld!
As my welding improved and I used thicker materials, my work became stronger, larger, and better able to withstand weather and people. This, combined with my involvement with a local group of artists Collaborative Concepts who curate an outdoor sculpture show every Fall called The Farm Project, fueled my passion to place my work in public settings. I’ve been able to place a number of my sculptures in public for semi-permanent and permanent viewing in the (NY/NJ) Tri-State area. One of my dreams is to contribute to the tourism industry in Putnam County, NY, by making this area a Public Art destination using the work of local artists.
You will also note quirky creatures and people peppered throughout the inventory. I work half-time as an Occupational Therapist in a physical rehabilitation setting, so I spend a lot of time evaluating and treating bodies. This interest carries over to my art, and I find that I “see” body parts in found objects that beg to be made into sculptures. People have responded to these creatures, and a significant portion of my sculpture time is spent fulfilling commissions (e. g., a 6 foot rooster…the biblical Eve).
I like to use metal that has colors on it--street signs or advertisements. People have asked if I steal my signs. No, no, no, no, no. I go to DOT guys and beg for their garbage! And I buy metal ads from scrap sellers--some ski resorts use colorful vinyl advertisements mounted onto aluminum. In recent years as I’ve been strengthening my welding skills, I have used less signs because the color burns off when exposed to the heat of the welding process.
Recently I met an expert metal colorist who has taught me to use 2-part automotive paint. Using this paint has not only expanded my color palette considerably, but it has also added to the durability of my work because of the adhering capacity and lack of fade from sun, heat, and weather.