Sculptor John Bisbee Has a Simple Mantra: “Only nails, always different.”
Artist John Bisbee has a simple mantra: “Only nails, always different.” That simple statement has sparked an incredible amount of creativity in his nearly three decades of welding forged 12-inch nails. The Maine-based metal sculptor has been coaxing the iron spikes into a variety of forms ever since he knocked over a bucket of old rusty nails and they strangely kept their bucket form – they’d rusted together!
Always sticking to his mantra, Bisbee’s work is a refreshingly varied collection of geometric, abstract and familiar forms. That includes an intricately woven, human-height horn (like one you’d find on an old phonograph), and small repeating pyramids arranged in delightful serpentine rows. His nail-based units give him an incredible amount of creative freedom:
“A nail, like a line, can and will do almost anything,” he tells American Craft. “What can’t you draw with a line? The nail is just my line.”
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