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“Move the metal until the metal moves you.”

By Heather Hintze

EUGENE, Ore. — Steve Reinmuth owns Reinmuth Bronze Studios Inc. He’s a bronze sculptor who makes a living casting pieces for himself and other artists.

“This is really hard work. It takes skill, it takes a tremendous amount of tenacity to choose to do this for a living,” said Reinmuth.

He and his crew spend hours in the shop, where temperatures can sometimes reach up to 300-degrees.

“It’s a little bit dangerous and you get burned once in a while and there’s something about the respect for the fire and the energy that transmits into the piece which I think is part of the work,” said Reinmuth.

While Reinmuth makes a living at his art, for other artists it’s more of a pastime. Jud Turner is a social worker by day, artist by night.

“Sculpture for me is the one that kind of balances all the things that are appealing to me. I get to use tools, I get to break stuff, I get to put stuff back together,” said Turner.

Turner works primarily with found or recycled objects and spends up to 40 hours a week in his studio.

David Thompson uses old fashioned blacksmithing equipment and techniques to make his art. He says he has one of the most complete blacksmith shops in the state and some of his pieces of equipment date back to 1895.

“My favorite material is steel. It’s very forgiving and strong and it’s everywhere. And it comes in lot of different shapes and sizes,” said Thompson.

Thompson is retired now but has worked with steel for the past 40 years, making his living doing architectural work like stair railings. “I was just born with passion for metal. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do is work metal and that’s all I’ve done.”

His motto for metal can be summed up in the phrase: “Move the metal until the metal moves you.” Thompson goes on to explain, “With hot iron it’s so easy to overwork it. You go too far. You have to know when to stop. So you move the metal until it moves you. It tells you ‘I’m finished, I’m there. Leave me alone.’ That’s what it’s all about.”

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