Joseph Warren, originally from Boston, Massachusetts was studying for a graduate degree in creative writing when he saw a brilliant creative found object sculpture of a centaur in a student gallery at the University of Oregon. He was so taken with the craft, that he soon began taking welded sculpture classes at Portland Community College. Finding the old steel and scrap parts that he needed became a hunting venture for him and his whole family. Rusty tools at a defunct mining camp became the first source as other mining camps and open scrap yards, resale stores and yard and estate sales soon followed as his sources.
As a nature lover, Joseph’s works include horses, elk, eagles, giraffes, dogs and cats. His salmon “Swimming Upstream” was featured on Oregon Art Beat. Wanting to expand to the human form and explore horse poses led him to his latest work of a centaur drawing back his bow.
“I put the pedal to the metal with our culture’s cast-off steel tools, parts and implements. While steel can be heated and bent, or cut apart with torch or saw, I strive to keep objects intact and readily identifiable so people can marvel at how a sculpture’s form is the sum of numerous individually identifiable parts.”
“I find great joy in old U.S. or European-manufactured tools made to exacting standards, and feel motivated giving worn implements new life. I even dream vivid images involving caches of rusty gear coming to life.”
“Sculpting from junk has a great appeal for me as the ultimate in sustainability. It is Re-use rather than Recycling-which while worthwhile is still an energy intensive industrial endeavor. My Re-use diverts thousands of pounds of the countless tons of steel odds and ends from our waste stream and arranges them to function anew.”