Artists sometimes experiment with different media, hoping it will enable them to break new ground. The change of medium from flat and rigid sections of sheet steel, to crumpled, twisted and almost unrecognizable pieces of metal gleaned from a salvage yard, also brought on something more for San Francisco metal sculptor William Wareham, the first artist-in-residence for Recology San Francisco, whose work ranges from tabletop sculpture to large architectural pieces.
Sections of rusted coil springs, crumpled hot water heater tanks, twisted angle iron, a bumper section and other auto parts are among the dozens of discarded metal objects that Wareham has shaped into geometric abstractions. “There is so much activity … so much history in this,” said Wareham holding a crumpled section of chrome that once was part of a grocery cart. “You immediately ask yourself how it got that way. Was it crushed by a hydraulic press here in the yard, or did something happen to the grocery cart?”
According to Wareham, it is unknown how the scrap material reacts when he begins to cut and shape it into a piece of sculpture with his acetylene and arc welders. “I know what to expect when I heat a piece of steel ordered from a supplier; but with this, it’s impossible to know with certainty. That’s one of the things that make this an exciting project.”
Photos and press release for this artist.