I’ve always been attracted to metal work on a small scale, myself, but I’m blown away by what other artists and sculptors create. Sculptor John Lopez grew up in cowboy country on a ranch in western South Dakota. Now, on his ranch in Lemmon, South Dakota, he creates a stunning array of large-scale sculpture made from scrap metal. These are no ordinary scrap metal, welded sculptures, but incredibly intricate works of art, life-size pieces of familiar Western motifs, fashioned from recycled, cast-off farm equipment.
Prior to working in this medium, Lopez had already developed a career and reputation as an accomplished bronze sculptor, working in Dale Lamphere’s Sturgis studio. Not until he returned home to his roots on the family ranch in the Cherry Creek and Grand River country of South Dakota, did he embark on this part of his journey. To honor his aunt who had passed away during his time there, he constructed a fence and gate around her grave there to make her feel at home. Far more free-form than the exacting detail of his bronze sculpting, this changed his whole direction.
““My favorite part about these pieces is the texture,” explains Lopez. “I just start grabbin’ stuff from the pile and welding it, in and if you weld enough of the same thing on over and over it creates this really cool texture that I’ve never seen in these kinds of pieces before. And I think that’s what draws people in.” ~John Lopez
Take a few moments to visit and see more of his wonderful work on his website. In addition to his sculpture seen all over the nation, he has published a gorgeous coffee table book that features his one-of-a-kind Hybrid Metal Art. And feel free to share and spread the beauty this sculptor creates.