From bits and pieces of materials such as scrap metal to sculpted salt and pepper mills, artists at the ninth annual Zona Rosa Art Fair had unique works on display this weekend.
Many of the artists traveled from other states to show off their work and create a market for their art.
Steve Huffman of Ottumwa, Iowa, had turned pieces of recycled scrap metals into works of art, some of them very large.
A huge buffalo was made of dozens of pieces of rusted machinery parts. A fender from an ancient truck help make up the backside of the beast, the round and raised headlight still attached.
A belt buckle imprinted with “North American Hunting Club” was used as an eye. Chains coursed down its neck.
A gusset plate that connects beams and girders helped hold the beast together.
Huffman said he collects metal from scrap yards, shipyards and copper mines.
“I look for the quirkiest, most unusual piece of scrap metal,” he said.
Often he doesn’t know what the metal parts are. At exhibits like the one Sunday, viewers will tell him.
He gets his ideas from the scraps themselves.
When he sculpted “Alert and Ready,” a horse’s head on a stand, he was looking through a scrap yard and found a horseshoe and a metal bit from a bridle.
A plow blade made up the horse’s neck, with a shovel placed in the front. Chains were used for the mane, and Huffman even used a bent wrench and brass doorknob.
Robert Wilhelm traveled from Portland, Ore, to display his distinctive hand-sculpted salt and pepper mills and bowls.
Wilhelm said he stumbled into designing the mills after he got his degree in sculpturing. He was creating sculptures for corners of a room when he thought one of them looked like a pepper mill. He made a smaller set for his contractor when he finished the job.
And then he started creating more. Someone suggested that he show his work and he got 1,500 orders from people.
Now the slender, asymmetrical designs come in many different colors, shades and sizes. He also creates wedge-shaped bowls, including a fruit bowl with numerous holes of different sizes.
“I stumbled into this 17 years ago, and now it’s a full-time job,” Wilhelm said.