William Colburn

Metal
Gallery Loft Parking — 2412 2nd Avenue North

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, on the side of Ruffner Mountain. My engineer father taught me metal working at an early age through his Birmingham based manufacturing company. I first became interested in the fabrication of metal studio furniture at the age of nineteen. I enjoyed a wonderful playground at my father’s company, with unlimited industrial equipment and experts in machine shop, welding and fabrication. In 1990, I relocated to Fairhope, Alabama and set up my artist studio on the Alabama Gulf Coast. In 1995, I opened my first Gallery in the french quarter of downtown Fairhope. In 2014, I relocated my artistic studio to the redeveloped Woodlawn area of Birmingham. We are awaiting permits to start construction of our 10,000 square foot sculpture park, entertainment facility and restaurant in the Avondale neighborhood of Downtown Birmingham.

My work is inspired by the natural whimsy found in the natural world around me. I am inspired by natural organic shapes. I cut shapes from heavy steel and stainless steel plate using an industrial plasma system. I shape each piece using large industrial hydraulic presses and coal fired forges. Each piece is then weld fabricated into a large scale three dimensional sculpture using mig welding equipment. Each weathered steel sculpture is then sandblasted to bare metal and allowed to develop a natural weathered patina finish. The stainless steel sculptures are brightly polished with high speed pneumatic grinders and polishing wheels, then chemically passivated in an acid bath to create weather resistance stainless steel finish.

My work is permanently exhibited at many private homes, businesses, cities, museums and art centers throughout the U.S.: Bell Center Homewood Alabama; Barber Motorsports Museum, Birmingham, Alabama; Carnegie Visual Arts Center Decatur, Alabama; The City Park System of Miami, Florida; Government Plaza, Mobile, Alabama; St Paul’s Episcopal, Daphne, Alabama; Fairhope Arts Center, Fairhope, Alabama; City of Arlington Texas; Tullahoma Art Center, Tullahoma Tennessee; Sundance Ranch, Utah.