Wareham Forge

Public Sculptures
by Darrell Markewitz

Increasingly, my personal work becomes focused on fine art sculptural works.

Although design has always been an important consideration with all my past work, the shift here has been away from the functional. The objects illustrated here often are more conceptual than technical.

Significant has been a number of larger pieces, especially those created for the Elora Sculpture Project.

Earliest works shown first...

Note : Almost all these works have intentionally been left with a 'fire scale from the forge' finish. They are expected to take on a rust coating with time!

Unused Designs

Over the years it has been typical for me to submit two separate designs for each jurying process. This has created a pool of unrealized sculptures - potentially available for private commissions.

Described in a separate section

'21st Cee - Clootie Tree'
Goderich Celtic Festival : 2008

' In a modern era when so few of us (in North America at least) actually write by hand any more, what form would our petitions to 'the Powers' actually take? One of the impacts of computers on writing has been the quite noticeable effect of the lengthening of any message. The inclusion of more and more raw information, often presented quite poorly. Massive volume over clear content. We save on hard drives or CD-ROM disks, we are driven to fill the vast spaces with something.

How will the ancient spirits react to our compulsion to employ the latest technological gadget? Our quickly eroding abilities with even the most basic of traditional skills? At root, our disassociation with the natural world itself? '

natural branch, found object
Detailed Description
short term installation, now lost

ESP-2013 ESP-2013
at Elora, 2013
as placed
ESP-2013 ESP-2013
detail showing textures
text detail : 'Kinsmen Die...'
Elora Sculpture Project : 2013

' Under our feet, often hidden, lay the layers of individual days, compressed by time into stone. Trapped within the layers lie elusive impression of past lives. Rushing waters sometimes expose these layers, allowing us to glimpse and attempt to interpret these often fragmented records - before weather and water erases them forever... '

mild steel, stainless steel, wrought iron
4 x 4 feet
with the original base, stands about 5 feet tall
(can be re-configured for wall mount at 2 x 8 feet)
Detailed Description
this work available = $4500
currently installed at Wareham

at fergus HSP-2018
at Fergus, 2016
at Haliburton Sculpture Project, 2018
ESP-2014 ESP-2014
at Elora, 2014
detail of the spear tips
ESP-2014 ESP-2014
'From the Fury..'
'...deliver us'
'Spears of Summer'
Elora Sculpture Project : 2014

' Nature or Nurture? How closely are our objects inspired by nature, and that nature be found in even our most aggressive tools? Is it form or function that dictates?
The art of the ancient Celts was clearly influenced by the natural world. Are we looking here at a bundle of weapons, warped back to organic shapes? Or a grove of plants, frozen rigid? '

structural mild steel, decorative paint
7 1/2 feet tall (about 3 foot total diameter)
Detailed Description
Finished Installation
this work available = $2500


currently installed at Wareham : December 2017
ESP-2014 ESP-2015
at Elora, 2015
3/4 front view
'Armoured Fish'
Elora Sculpture Project : 2015

' For the 2014 Elora Sculpture Project entry, I looked back to a series of sculptural pieces I had developed during 2005 - 2010. This work was inspired by ancient fossil fishes and other sea creatures.
Considering the significance of the Grand River to both the history and the current environment of Elora, a sculptural fish seemed an ideal fit. There is also an obvious link to the limestone that forms the Gorge - and the fossils contained within. '

mild steel bar & plate, stainless sheet, natural stone
about 4 feet long, when mounted about 4 feet tall
Detailed Description
sold to a private collector

ESP-2016 ESP-2016
at Elora, 2016
better view of interior
'Barrel Turbine'
Elora Sculpture Project : 2016

' Elora has a history defined by its location on the Grand, the town developing around the various mills powered by its flow.
‘Barrel Turbine’ is intended to expand the primarily visual impact of the various entries into the Project by adding both motion and sound. ... The (barrel) shape is outlined by wide strips of steel, suggesting the wooden staves and metal bands of traditional cooperage. ... The barrel is topped with a ‘turbine’ shape ... The paddles of the turbine are ... mounted on bearings that allow it to be rotated by the wind. ... Because the interior of the machine is visible through the protective grid work, a viewer peering closely will be able to see the various ‘machinery’ moving inside.'

structural & plate mild steel, stainless sheet, mixed media with decorative paint
about 7 feet tall 3 foot diameter
Detailed Description
Work in Progress
Ready and Installed
withdrawn - installed at Wareham

withdrawn - installed at Wareham
ESP-2016 ESP-2016
at Elora, 2017
from the side, showing motion
'Hello / Goodbye'
Elora Sculpture Project : 2017

' This simpler piece ...  continues to explore the concept of wind powered / moving sculptures. Within the larger grouping of works part of ESP, I feel objects that incorporate motion can serve to capture the public’s attention.
‘Hello / Goodbye’  consists of a set of five individual mounted elements. With the base structure, the overall impression is of a stylized hand raised in greeting, the individual fingers waggling under the action of the wind. Each ‘finger’ is a long slender, slightly curved rod, ending in an elongated oval ‘finger nail’ formed of stainless steel sheet. Each sheet ‘nail’ is slightly dished and mounted at slightly different angles to capture the wind. Each of the ‘fingers’ ends in a heavy mass of steel, compressed via forging to function as a counterweight. '

  mild steel, stainless sheet
about 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide, moves over 4 feet of depth
Detailed Description
withdrawn - currently installed at Wareham

ESP-2018 ESP-2016
at Elora, 2018
showing hanging strings
Elora Sculpture Project : 2018

' What do we leave behind for future generations?
The pyramid structure recalls one of the oldest enduring human structures, the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The covering of plastic water bottles indicates one of the longest enduring objects produced in current days - sure to also endure for centuries to come.
Individual bottles (makers labels removed against liability) are each attached on to long bolts, those welded to the underlaying steel frame. It is the intent to start with the frame only partially covered, with additional bottles added to ‘complete’ the structure over the course of its installation.
This piece originally conceived during the ‘Turf to Tools’ project at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in 2017, as a commentary on human impact over the ages on the natural environment. (It is a topical piece, with contraversy about the impact of water bottling in the Elora region.)'

structural mild steel with re-cycled plastic
4 feet on a side, about 5 feet tall
Original Concept
Detailed Description
Plastic Water Bottles
Finished Installation
this work available - $1000
currently installed at Wareham
ESP-2019 ESP-2016
at Elora, 2019
detail of 'dancers' (during build)
'Tipping Point'
Elora Sculpture Project : 2019

' From Chaos, through the possibilities of DNA, arises Humanity, the self appointed Pinnacle of Creation. Technology may be seen to lift us ever higher, but beware how a rapid change in Environment can result in a sudden fall.
At the bottom is the Chaos of Creation. Here represented by two sets of six, spiral shaped arms, each set curving in opposite directions. Each disk is mounted to a central hub, which allows the disks to both spin under the action of the wind, but also to rotate around the core rod based on wind direction. As the arms are rotating, a complex set of shapes will be generated.
Above Chaos is Order - imposed by DNA. A pair of triangular strips are wound around each other, tapering upwards and inwards.
Humanity and Technology is represented by the topmost set of elements. History has proven that even gradual seeming Environmental Change is often marked by sharp (and often disastrous) ‘failing points’.'

stainless steel sheet, decorative paint
about 7 feet tall, sweeps out about 3 foot diameter
Detailed Description
withdrawn - installed at Wareham
abalone fishes
Abalone Tiny Fishes
crab coral
Horse-shoe Crab
Sea Turtle
no net
Unknown in the Depths
without the net

'Last to Sea'

Elora Sculpture Project : 2020

'A group of ocean creatures are confined within the circle of a plastic fishing net, ‘drowned’ by clear plastic water bottles. Can they be more than glimpsed through that mass of human waste? These are species with ancient lineages, all have have survived through previous mass extinctions. But look! All these are now pushed to the brink of destruction, directly through human activities.'

This piece was a direct reflection of my continuing, and growing, personal concern over the destructive impact of humans on the entire planet. As I started researching individual sea creatures, I was actually shocked to find the number of truly ancient species that were on the ‘Endangered’ list, some close to Extinction - the choice for all those depicted here.

'Last to Sea' consists of a total of seven smaller sculptures, grouped inside nylon drift net recovered as a beach find while in Northern Newfoundland.

stainless and mild steel sheet, bar
natural stone
plastic waste, nylon net
stands 3 1/2 feet tall, 4 feet diameter
Detailed Description
Overall commentary on the creation of this work
available either as complete or individual elements
installed at Wareham

close Darrell
'An Undiscovered Plant
Containing a Cure for Cancer'

Elora Sculpture Project / Fergus : 2021

' ‘My. how peculiar! Just what is this? It’s not like any plant I’ve seen before. It’s so BIG. - and so strange looking…’
This sculpture is in the form of a huge jungle (?) plant. A cluster of arching stems each hold individual frosted glass ‘flowers’. Towering above these are a group of huge and complex ’seed pods’. Bundled at the base are long blade shaped leaves.'

Another environmentally inspired piece, The starting point here was suggested by the 1992 film ‘Medicine Man’, about an isolated scientist in the Amazon, pursuing a plant based cure for cancer, and battling the destruction of the same rain forest where the rare plant can be found. Much more agressive hand forging techniques are utilized, combined by the application of bold colour in the protective paint.

mild steel structural and bar
decorative paint
blown glass jars
naturally polished beach stones
Detailed description
sold to a private collector

'Wave Action'
Paisley Street Sculpture Project - 2022
in collaboration with Kelly Probyn-Smith / Elfworks Studios

' Framed by bright waves, fish jump and ducks dive, while paddlers cruise on by. Who wouldn’t enjoy a day on the river, here in Paisley! '

Developed from the original concept by Kelly for a sculpture that would have moving elements, driven by cranks operated by the viewer. The brightly painted box holds the mechanism, were waves wash up and down and painted fish and birds dive up and out of the water, while a canoe paddles by. Kelly created the cast pewter fish and birds, and the forged plant life at the rear. I built the mechanical parts and assembled.

stainless sheet, structural steel supports, mild steel bar
re-cycled bicycle parts
lead free pewter
coloured paints
detailed description
this work available

(Short Cut HERE back to the site index / map.)

All text & images © Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge