“I make art. A self-taught artist, I learned to weld in high school and my approach is somewhat crude. I enjoy shaping and piecing; hammering, bending, and rolling; then, welding these parts into forms, watching the warping effects of the heat and handwork bring forth unique characteristics into characters and sculpture. I often use scrap objects such as saw blades, barbed wire, and various types of nails to further detail my work.
The finishing phases are like working in a completely different art medium. I do sketch out and plan my work, of course, but as I prime to inhibit rusting, I begin to immerse in visualizing the layers and tiers of painting I am about to begin, in order to achieve rich colors and build textures. I have sometimes used a jeweler’s grinder and other tools to add detail. I use a water based automotive paint so the work can be indoors or in sheltered outdoor spaces.
I love the entire process of turning flat, cold sheets of steel into organic, lively creatures and characters, which might catch the eye by playful appearance, but inspire some sort of contemplations as well. Then I feel most satisfied in my process, especially when I am still wondering a bit myself.”
- Bill Hickman