swirl bird

Cor-Ten Steel and  Painted Steel Bird
6′ 3″ H x 2′ 8″ W x 2′ D


Swirl Bird has a magical almost “Suessical” shape to it that resonates a sophisticated whimsy. As with many of my new designs, I was compelled to “put a bird on it”. I have used crows and cardinals on many pieces with much success, but I wanted to try a different
species. Sherri, who works in my office, suggested her favorite bird, the Bluebird. Using both Stainless and Cor-Ten Steel on the bird allows the belly of the bird to rust, giving it the deep color you would find on a true bluebird chest, while the Stainless stays bright
and vibrant.

Making a sculpture with swirls and curls reminiscent of a fiddlehead has been on my mind for a long time; but the process of making the swirls taper down, while maintaining a smooth curve all the way to the end, was proving impossible with the design software I was using. After upgrading my software, I decided to revisit my design ideas. Thankfully the upgrade was just the ticket I needed and I was able to quickly complete the piece I had been envisioning, but had been eluding me for so long.

Translating sketches and ideas from paper to the actual welding table involves steps that not many art viewers would realize or even consider. Once I have sketched a sculpture by hand, I use a 3-D software to create it virtually, then I use a CAD software to break the design apart into pieces that I can nest together onto a metal sheet. This same software will then direct the laser cutter to perfectly cut the sheet into the “puzzle pieces” that will then be welded together to create the final sculpture. There are a lot of small intricate steps involved in producing a piece that is meant to come across as very simplistic.