Artist StatementIt is my great joy to take something as hard and unmovable as steel and mold it into something that has fluidity and dynamic life. I believe in making artwork that is flowing with movement and excitement so that it gives energy back to a room instead of just taking up space. I take pride in creating detail-oriented pieces that have an almost organic feel to them. Out of stillness comes movement. Out of rusted destruction comes new vibrant life. I have been manipulating metal for over 15 years and use a wide variety of techniques to accomplish my goals. These techniques include modern welding and cutting to classic blacksmithing. Although I have taken several courses from well-known blacksmiths and metal sculptors I am mostly a self-taught artist. This has given me a style that is uniquely my own. The skills that I have learned over my many years of working with metal help me create pieces that are truly one of kind and fresh. Some of these creations have been published in national magazines and newspapers. Along side my wife Lisa, we have started “Iron Antler Forge LLC” with the hope that not only will we be able to do what we love for a living but also be able to teach a new generation the joys of metal sculpture. We look forward to working with new clients as well as other artists to create pieces that both spark the spirit and stir the imagination.
Daniel Stuart started his artistic career in his early 20’s when he decided to move from the 2D world of drawing into a more substantial 3D medium of metal sculpture. Using a of old torches and a grinder borrowed from his father’s small welding business, he was able to do some basic shaping of sheet metal. He would then gas-weld those shapes together along with some found metal objects to create artistic sculptures. After learning the limitations of this process and wanting more control over the metal, he learned of a local blacksmithing guild (Blacksmith Guild of Central MD) where he was able to take a few beginner blacksmithing classes. Over the next several years he was able to take weekend classes from several well-known blacksmiths/instructors that visited the guild. Daniel was able to take some of the basic fundamentals he learned from those classes and apply them in ever more expanding ways. He also made it a point to visit local metal sculptors wherever he traveled and this has allowed him to visit with artists all over the world. Daniel says “I have never left another artists studio without leaning something.” Aside from a few basic classes Daniel is largely a self-taught artist. With every piece he works on a new technique, concept, or idea is learned. He does not like monotony and finds himself exploring new ideas on a regular basis. Whether it’s finding new ways to bring out the natural and varied colors of metal, working with other artists in different disciplines to make collaborative projects, or inventing new tools to create forms that have not been done before Daniel is on a progressively expanding journey to deepen both the quality and complexity of his work. In 2006 Daniel, with the encouragement of his wife Lisa, made the move from creating metalwork as a hobby to doing it as a profession and their business “Iron Antler Forge” was born. He started out displaying his art at high-end juried art shows in the Washington Metropolitan area. After experimenting with this outlet for a few years Daniel left the show circuit and began branching out to local designers to create one-of-a-kind pieces for homes and offices. In that time he has created a large body of work, from small attention grabbing wall hangings and table sculptures to large functional pieces like tables, chairs, and lamps. Recently his focus has turned to large corporate art pieces that can be enjoyed by a larger audience such as a huge full bodied mirror that hangs in the lobby of the Hotel Sierra in Sterling, VA or the neon lit map of the world that is hanging in the corporate office of NAI Global in Princeton, NJ. His current focus is to further expand his skills and the scale of his work. He would like to find homes for his creations in public parks and buildings where the sculptures can touch the most people. He is also experimenting with the incorporation of glass, lighting, wood, and ceramics into his work to deepen the level of interest, beauty, and complexity. Daniel is committed to the quality of his work as well as the expansion of form and function of his art. Since he started on this endeavor his work has continued to generate great interest from the people viewing it. It is with a fervent joy that he continues on this path of creation and exploration.