D E N N I S W A R S H A L S T E E L S C U L P T U R E
I have created steel and mixed media sculpture and thematic installations since 1992. I chose to work with steel because I felt grounded by the medium. It is almost impervious to breakage, there is no fear of tearing or vulnerability—except for oxidation. Steel is a gratifying and substantial medium. It can be strong, it can be malleable. Steel can be elemental, and it can be finished and polished. Steel is strong and long-lasting. Steel retains heat, and steel can be hard and cold. Steel is massive, dense, and unforgiving…steel can be graceful, steel can reassure. I find while working with steel, my entire body is engaged.
And with all my safety equipment in place (ear plugs/hearing protectors, ventilator/mask, eye protection, protective clothing) the experience is similar to snorkeling or scuba diving—I am completely zoned into the work at hand
Re-purposed and recycled steel pieces are important component of my sculptures. The medium embraces, and screams to be re-used and repurposed. This may mean using a found object which is made of steel, or can may be reshaping and redesigning a piece of steel as a design element of the current project. I also may work with copper, brass, and stainless steel, or combine glass, and other materials as the designs indicate. Some of my sculptures are treated, stained, or painted. Some go through a process of powder coating which prepares them for decades of protection from the weather. I have tended to follow themes which are affirming and organic. I seek to instill opportunity for the viewer to receive an emotional lift while enjoying the sculpture. Responding and being affected in some way from the sculpture
My passion lies in creating pieces which communicate the sacred, commemorate life cycles and life events, and celebrate the natural world around us; both the seen and unseen. My sculptures and fabricated artworks are meant to inspire and provoke. They are equally at home indoor and outdoors, and very often, they are also quite functional. Whimsical, dramatic, inspired, synthesizing and reflective. These are all qualities I hope you will find in my art, as well as those you discover on your own.