Don Esser: Forging Ahead
June 2 - October 3, 2021
Reception: Thursday, June 17 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Waunakee sculptor Don Esser has been hammering and twisting metal since 1976. For over 30 years, he worked solely with black iron until one day he came across stacks of boxes filled with vintage stained glass at an antique mall. From then on, Esser has been reinventing traditional blacksmithing methods by incorporating colored glass and manipulating metal into organic shapes.
Throughout the Cedarburg Art Museum’s sculpture garden this summer, metal forms rooted in the function of weather vanes are featured alongside earlier, more abstracted works that reflect a sense of fluidity with minimal lines and playful geometric shapes. In all of his sculptures, Esser approaches each piece with a sense of childlike fearlessness. For Esser, creating sculpture is “a little like stealing fire from the gods and [his] goal is to put a bit of that sense of wonder into each piece.”
Glass Arrow, Stainless steel
Rooster, Forged steel and glass