steel sculpture

John Pahlas at work“Art is the signature of civilizations” – Beverley Sills

My work currently revolves around creating animals and nature scenes out of discarded metal objects and salvaged industrial parts. I am fascinated by how humanity has impacted the natural world. However heavily the facts of the matter may weigh on my heart, I always find a great deal of catharsis through transforming salvaged steel into forms inspired by nature that appear to be alive and thriving.

Click artworks to view slide show of larger images.

  • Breakthrough
  • Beneath the Surface III
  • Beneath the Surface VI

Much of my sculptural process involves searching through heaps of abandoned steel refuse and categorizing shapes and textures. More often than not the random materials dictate the composition. From there I spend hours in the studio with little more than a welder, torch, and several grinders that help guide me through this creative process. It is a great challenge to take that which our industrial society throws away and bring it back to life as a fish swimming upstream or a hawk in flight over head.

With each piece, I strive to express the beautiful and powerful qualities of the natural world through these seemingly broken and discarded implements of industry. My hope is that my work can provide viewers with an object that gives hope and also allows them to contemplate how our species impacts the planet we inhabit.

DEMONSTRATION: I will be welding a scrap steel sculpture from start to finish on and off throughout the days of the event. Loud machines and sparks will be present, we will have safety gear available if anyone feels a need for them.

STUDIO ACCESS: The entrance to our studio is totally wheel chair accessible. There is a short sidewalk to the main entrance and the bay door of the steel studio which connects with a sixty foot long drive way (low grade incline, very doable for elderly/handicapped). Our artwork will be for sale in the main room where Heidi will be throwing pottery on the wheel.

Credit Cards are accepted by this artist.

Center Ground Studios
302 E. Lincoln Street, Mount Horeb, WI 53572 | 920-299-2368 | | |