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Artist's Statement

I discovered metal as an art form while at UMASS in 1992 when taking a welding class on a whim. Always a hoarder of the discarded and used, I was drawn to the shapes and patinas of the broken farm equipment and rusted gears rather than the shiny sheets of new metal available in the foundry. Manipulating a shape with heat continues to be pure magic for me.

I combine these worn metal elements with other materials such as wood, paper, clay and small found objects to create both functional and purely sculptural pieces. Usually a single shape will suggest a gesture or the beginning of an idea. I tend to work on 2 or 3 pieces at the same time, solving problems and sometime waiting for months to realize the final detail needed to complete a sculpture.

My work with old and discarded books is a more intimate form of expression. Metal icon boxes are often created to contain these books. Smaller bits and pieces with their own history and character are used in combination with the words exposed on the open page.

Metal continues to be my primary method of expression, generally humorous and unexpected. The book manipulations are surprisingly just a smaller, more controlled attempt to continue this same expression.

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2008 Nan Fleming
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