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Tools, Parts Used To Make Great Art
Even though he worked at a “regular” job for 34 years, Keith Dorn found that his real joy in life came when he created metal artwork that made people smile and laugh. “I always loved Halloween and through my job, I learned how to use a plasma cutter,” Dorn says. “I started cutting up 20-lb. LP tanks to make jack-o-lantern faces and the next thing I knew, people asked if I could make this or that out of all types of scrap. My employer allowed me to go part-time for 2 years and work on my art the rest of the time. Before I knew it, the flood gates opened.”
Dorn is now 7 years into his new career and has thousands of followers on Facebook with customers all over the U.S. and even in Japan. He still builds out his own ideas, but a lot of his metal art is commissioned, often for memorials.
Some of his artwork focuses on insects, animals, flowers and clever wall sculptures. “There are tons of mosquitoes in Minnesota, so I’ve made super-size bugs that are 8 in. tall and nearly a foot long,” Dorn says. “The stingers are coil tines from old field cultivators, and I use bent rebar for legs and a small LP canister for the main body. They look like something from a monster movie, and people love them.”
He gets scrap material from friends or neighbors and at rummage or yard sales. His designs use worn brake rotors, bent springs, rusty clamps, busted gears, old brackets, drain grates, nails, bolts, and just about anything else that’s tossed in a junk pile. One of his characters is an always-friendly metal animal that continually nods its battery box head that’s welded to a 12-in. long coil spring neck. Its body is an old gas can and legs are crafted from angle iron. The friendly animal stands tall on a 14-in. dia. metal disk blade.
His roller chain worms with eye-hook antennae and long wire arms hold a small blue angle iron book. Over-sized dogs have large metal heads made of oil cans and “real life” floppy ears made from metal golf clubs. Other objects use metal paddles from manure spreaders, old gas tanks, saw blades, frying pans, and miscellaneous springs.
His wife Sandy helps manage the half dozen shows they attend. Their booth sign says “Crap From Scrap”.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Keith Dorn (ph 507-420-4953; kdorn1@hickorytech.net).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #6