Artist welds nuts and bolts into ‘true art’

Edgewater Gallery on the Green has unveiled a dynamic sculpture exhibition in the heart of Middlebury featuring the work of Jonathan D. Ebinger. These sculptures will be on view through the month of July with a reception on Friday, July 13, from 5:30-7 p.m. See, good things do happen on Friday the 13th.
Originally from New Jersey, Ebinger honed his skills while earning a degree in fine art from the Art Institute of Boston. He continued a rigorous study of welding techniques through an opportunity to take free welding classes while working as a union construction worker. Ebinger uses a unique collection of materials consisting of stainless steel nuts, bolts, washers and rods.
“They are not just construction materials, but rather pieces of a puzzle that I am able to fit together to create whatever kind of sculpture I can imagine,” said Ebinger. “They are metal shapes; hexagons and perfect circles of all different sizes. When I bring together all of these geometric shapes, they have an intriguing and inviting look and feel.”
His vivacious animal sculptures are built using a mig welder one washer at a time, from one seamless end to another rather than in sections. Ebinger’s choice of animals as his subjects stems from years of studying the human skeleton in figure drawing classes. While working in the studio he references projected images of the specific creature, glancing at the reference while welding in order to attain the most realistic pose and weight possible. His work honors a realistic expression of the musculature structure and gait of animals, as well as the soulful, expressive quality of their eyes.
“Artwork, whether it is music, painting or sculpting is a process of give and take,” Ebinger explained when asked where his work is headed. “A musician can’t force notes to sound good… to make real music you have to let it happen. It’s the same thing with painters and sculptors. Van Gogh painted what he felt and let it happen. He didn’t fight it. He listened… in true art, there is more going on than what we see.”

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