Artist’s Corner

Artist’s Corner

Photo by Dietrich Eitzen

This sculpture is a hawk made out of pieces of welded steel. In my work I often look for inspiration from the mechanics of the real world. I look for the way things work–the underlying mechanics of an organism or object. In most of my work, and this piece in particular, I look for pieces of steel in the shape of body parts.

For this hawk shape, I was looking for long, thin pieces of steel to create the layered effect of the wings and tail. I also needed to find pieces to create the open shape of the body of the hawk. For the hawk, I welded the wings together first along with the tail–after this I created the body and attached it to the sculpture’s base. One of my biggest challenges was the head of the hawk. I finally created the neck using steel disks and the head using two triangular shaped pieces for the beak and three indented circular pieces for the top of the head.

When I create models or objects that look like something we see everyday, I often either exaggerate or remove a part.  I am not trying to mimic these objects exactly so much as create a representation. This generally manifests itself as a lack of perfect mimicry of shapes or as an intentional roughness. It is not about creating an exact replica, but a representation of the object—a new way of looking at something familiar that we see every day.

It is also about the act of creation. The tactile sensation is as much a part of the sculpture to me as the final creation. My pieces rarely end up in the state that I originally imagined when I started creating them, so every piece that I make is its own journey of discovery. With my family’s background in the arts, this type of creation has interested me since my childhood. It is one of the reasons I was drawn to physics, as it is a way to explain how the world and its underlying mechanics work.

artist, Russell Horst

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Written by Andrea Kraybill