Every now and again, Kevin likes to work with found metal rather than new metal.
One of the things he discovered early on was railroad spikes. They’re just so much fun to work with! Some railroad spikes are perfectly straight while others have twists and turns and bends in them where they got hit by a train when they were working their way up out of the railroad ties.
Kevin started making Ocotillos, and shows a photo of a living ocotillo growing in the desert.
He also is inspired by the railroad spikes he finds, some perfectly straight, but others with curves and bends that provide flowing movement. He shows his sculpture TwistTie, which has a lot of movement.
Another sculpture, FireStick, was commissioned for the end of a house’s long hallway to block a lovely view of their garage. FireStick was inspired by a desert plant of the same name. The sculpture weighs about 800 pounds!
Kevin shows another sculpture created with railroad spikes he calls Shitake Agaves because they look like a cross between growing Shitake mushrooms and desert agave plants.
Another type of sculpture he creates with railroad spikes is Sweet Gum Balls. They’re inspired by the tiny round seed balls that fall off sweet gum trees. He had one of his Sweet Gum Balls in an art show in Cave Creek, Arizona. Some folks visiting from the Southeast recognized them and sent him a box full of the actual seed pods!
Another fine art sculpture Kevin made with railroad spikes is an artwork called Banked Bramble. Like FireStick, it was created for a specific spot with a specific function to block off a view – and look nice. It has some movement, some flow, some energy and allows light to flow through it. Unlike a big curtain, the sculpture just diffuses the light.
Kevin hopes this free how-to video gives you a glimpse into what goes on in his head. He really appreciates you watching.
Before you go, stick around for a moment to see him try to find exactly the right railroad spike ….