Featured Artist Christian Schoenig

Artist Christian Schoenig uses reclaimed metal to create fantastical sculptures inspired by nature. Find more of his work by visiting his website.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a fish by Christian Schoenig

“Simplex Fish” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 26″ x 7″ x 16″

 

I create sculptures from the cast-off, worn out bits of the industrial world. I source raw materials from old farm dumps, scrap metal dumpsters, small engine repair shops, generous local mechanics and the like.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a moose by Christian Schoenig

“Big Moose” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 18″ x 10″ x 19″

 

If it is steel and has a shape that speaks to me, I will use it. An old circular saw blade may become a moose rack. The handle of a pair of tin snips turn into the mouth of a trout.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a flounder by Christian Schoenig

“Flounder” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 24″ x 8″ x 20″

 

Shortly after graduating college, I saw a flyer at the grocery store for an artistic welding class being offered by a local metal artist in nearby Wheelock, Vermont. The class introduced me to oxy-acetylene welding and the ability to liquify and transform metal into new forms.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a trout by Christian Schoenig

“Rainbow Trout” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 18″ x 4″ x 12″

 

From the first class, I was hooked.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a dragonfly by Christian Schoenig

“Green Wing Dragonfly” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 12″ x 11″ x 7″

 

After the class finished, my welding was put on hold due to a lack of funds to purchase my own equipment. About five years later, my grandfather, who was a career mechanic and general tinkerer, passed away. Some of the things he left me were his welding torches.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a horse by Christian Schoenig

“Hard Charger” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 23″ x 5″ x 15″

 

I set them up and began relearning what I had begun five years prior. Since then, I have transitioned from oxy welding to MIG welding.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a shark by Christian Schoenig

“Shark” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 8″ x 3″ x 5″

 

My shop is basic. It isn’t wired for electricity, so I run an extension cord from my house to power my equipment. My tools consist of angle grinders to cut, grind and clean the metal, a small torch and hammers to heat and bend material to shape, and a MIG welder to put it all together.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a butterfly by Christian Schoenig

“Red Wing Butterfly” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 4″ x 5″ x 3″

 

In the dead of winter, I let the numbness in my toes dictate when I need to take a break. Then I venture back into my house to defrost by the woodstove and refuel with the caffeinated goodness of a fresh mug of coffee.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a fish by Christian Schoenig

“Flux Capacitor Fish” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 18″ x 5″ x 12″

 

Rather than pre-plan my creations, I let the metal and the process guide me. I know the general subject, but shape, size and structure are revealed as I work.

 

Reclaimed metal sculpture of a pirahna by Christian Schoenig

“Pirahna” Reclaimed Metal Sculpture, 13″ x 4″ x 9″

 

My sculptures are beasts of land, sea, air and myth. I love the process of taking cold industrial bits and transforming them into works of art that represent organic living creatures in the natural world.

 

Artist Christian Schoenig invites you to follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Etsy.

 

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