Blacksmith, metal artist, and sculptor Don Esser has devoted the past 30 years to producing metal art. After high school, he began taking classes at UW-Madison, focusing on liberal arts until he discovered that he was more interested in developing his artistic skills.
“I felt a need to develop my own lifestyle,” said Esser, “so in 1973 I co-founded Northwind, a back-to-nature commune based on Native American philosophies.”
During his time at Northwind, Esser collected tools and began to practice metal art, which led him to begin an apprenticeship at the Moebius Forge in Plain, Wisconsin.
Since 1980, Esser has been blacksmithing full-time, forging mostly functional pieces out of steel, copper, and brass – everything from swords to garden gates. Recently, he has moved into sculptural garden art using native glacial stone from his farm together with forged steel components. He also creates larger sculptures, made primarily from recycled scrap steel and farm implements.
In addition to operating his own studio gallery in Waunakee, WI called Steel Wool Studio, Esser exhibits in approximately 20 art fairs annually.
The Flying Pig Gallery and Greenspace, open 9 am – 6 pm daily, is located at N6975 State Highway 42 in Algoma. For more information call 920.487.9902 or email [email protected].