Artisan Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of the The Wareham Forge has long been fascinated by the motion of objects influenced by the wind. The pieces here differ from conventional weathervanes, in that they are not primarily intended to indicate direction. Instead, these sculptural pieces utilize the winds to provide motion and life to their sweeping lines. Creative Inspiration - rather than the dictates of function, guide the designs seen here.
|At the heart of most of these one of kind pieces lies hand forged elements. The plastic possibilities of steel are exploited, while at the same time the inherent strength of the material remains. Sheet metal in copper, brass, aluminium or stainless steel allows for both vane surfaces, but also the creation of often elaborate three dimensional forms.
Spiral Spinner / Spring 2019
This piece resulted from work on 'Tipping Point' (ESP below). The first attempt at creating the 'Chaos' element proved not to hang correctly when mounted vertically as intended. (The thin stainless steel strips proved not rigid enough to keep the spiral shape centred).
However, mounted horizontally, the spiral arms formed a more complex three dimensional curve.
Elora Sculpture Project
2016 - 2017 - 2019
Although strickly speaking, not part of the 'windbile' series, a number of the larger sculptures created for the Elora Sculpture Project have incorporated wind powered elements.
These works have their own descriptions, seen at Public Sculptures
Fairy Bell / Summer 2013
Here is a wind driven gong, the bell formed of a cut off section of discarded high pressure cylinder. The striker is powered by the lower vane, made of cut and formed sheet aluminum. The form is a wildly distorted human / fairy figure, limbs entwined in interlaced curves suggested from Celtic designs.
La Tene Rotor Two / Summer 2012
Another of the 'rotor' inspired designs. Here the curves are more complex, and with more dishing of the individual stainless steel blades.
These pieces represent an ongoing series of designs, based on fossil fish and ancient sea creatures. Aggressively forged steel bars are pinched and folded to create spines and other bone like shapes. A long student of armour making, and interested in both fossils and insects since I was a child, my past work with hammered sheet was turned to forming boney plates, skulls and fins.
'Dragon Fish' / Summer 2007
This is the first of the Windbiles
in the 'Shades' series. The point of inspiration here
was the pinched shoulder used along a thick flat bar, an
method that always suggested a bony spine to me. Overall
it is over a metre in length. The fish pivots easily on
a ball bearing inside the tube support. This piece was
intended specifically as an entry in the artists gallery
display held at Summerfolk each August. I was extremely
pleased that within two hours of being on public view,
someone sought me out and asked to purchase the piece!
'La Tene Rotor' / Summer 2009
We all have some piece of machinery which enthralls us.
For me it is helicopters. The too few and too short
flights in military birds when I was in the Reserve
Forces are nailed to my memory.
'Winter Wheat' / Summer 2007
This tall sculpture is the first rendition of a concept
I have had for a good while. A large slab of natural
limestone serves as the base foundation. Into this are
inserted about two dozen thin steel rods. Each rod is
capped with a leaf shaped aluminium form. Each of the
top leaves will catch the wind, and because of the
thinness of the supporting rods, will start to sway. As
the rods are all different lengths, the amount of motion
will vary from upright to upright, resulting in an
interesting random movement to the sculpture as a whole.
Anyone who has driven past a field of fall wheat,
ripping in the wind, can envision my point of
'Celtic Winds' / Summer 2005
This piece was the first of the large free standing
wind influenced sculptures I created. I had been wanting
to illustrate how the spirals and curves so evident in
Celtic Iron Age art could be extended into the work of
contemporary artists. At a fund raising auction in
February in 2005, I had purchased a quantity of medium
weight sheet aluminium. This material cut easily, and
was just the right balance between holding its shape,
but at the same time light enough that much of the
shaping could be done with just my fingers. This was
quite exciting for me, as normally I am distanced from
working completely spontaneously by the forge and the
This was the first real windbile piece I did. It was a
'proof of concept' - more of a prototype than a finished
sculpture. The material used was a light weight
aluminium. intended for roofing repair. This metal was
coloured (dark brown) on one side, and in use proved too
light to permit out of doors mounting. Even the smallest
breeze would send the fish dancing! The colours here are
applied with spray cans.
Another cross over - this piece was created specifically for the exhibition 'Reflections of the Conquest' mounted by An Droichead at the Woodstock Museum in February of 2002. The design was directly taken from the groupings of mounted Normans seen in several places along the Bayeux Tapestry. Considering the 'cartoon like' outlines of the embroidery, I decided to stick with simple outlines - rather than detail and texture the metal sheet. The use of copper, brass and painted steel echoes the dominant colours from the original tapestry.
"What's the weather?" Perhaps one of the most commonly heard topics of conversation between Canadians. In the days before radio forecasts, every farmer knew that the direction of the wind was a sure sign of what was to come...
Continue HERE for past work