Industrial artist and welder started out making a statue out of popsicle sticks

Mike Ensminger Iron Image Design

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Mike Ensminger, Iron Image Design)

I was always the kid in class who was doodling on a piece of paper. All my life I’ve been very artistic and was able to draw pretty well; so, later when I took an art class in college I was able to fit right in. When we started to do three-dimensional work I took it as a challenge. I created a sculpture of the Archangel Michael standing on top of the serpent with his sword pointed high. Using popsicle sticks and hot glue, the sculpture was fragile, to say the least. I ended up receiving an A in the class, and I was put into the college’s Tribune newspaper for my work, but to my dismay the piece fell apart on a hot day in the back of my car.

Right around that time I was getting a welding certificate from Lorain County Community College, and I decided to make a piece out of metal that would be permanent and never fall apart. My work started with little things and grew as I challenged myself more and more. The larger pieces excited me, the challenge and thrill of making something amazing. I’d find myself getting lost in a project. I’d work on it late into the night, as the job that I was working at grew less and less important.

The pieces that I made sold for good money, and I figured that if I could dive into my work full time I could make a living at it. The last three years have been a process of learning how to run my own business legitimately and keep the inspiration to make the pieces that I wanted to make.

Meeting the right people and getting into the corporate realm are key, and things have been moving forward. I’ve done decorative metal work within the food industry. One restaurant that comes to mind is the Foundry Kitchen and Bar where much of my work was featured on Channel 8 News. I’ve done various venues within the Cleveland I-X Center, as well as working with its owner, Ray Park. Since I, oftentimes, sell my art to private owners, the larger goal is to expose my work corporately.

I feel like art is in all walks of life, including how we choose to live our life, who we live our life with, and what choices we make in between. My work usually starts from a large jumbled pile of metal laying on the ground next to my garage. But somehow, I find a way to create symmetry out of chaos. It all starts with an idea or vision and then you apply effort to that vision and every step of the way, every move you make, you must take a step back and evaluate if it was the right move or not. Sometimes, you have to go back a couple steps to get forward in the long run. We have to keep ourselves inspired and remain diligent to complete the task. With that formula, we can all do great things.

To see more of his work, visit ironimagedesign.com.

Ensminger Iron Image Design running horseEnsminger Iron Image Design screenEnsminger Iron Image Design tableEnsminger Iron Image Design chair

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