Artist's Statement
I was born in Ohio, in 1948. My father was an Air Force pilot and we were fortunate to live in and travel to many places, including
Ethiopia, Europe, and Alaska. We settled in Sacramento, CA., as I entered high school. My family spent most weekends and
vacations skiing, camping, fishing and exploring. I became involved with horses at a young age (I'm still riding or driving my 3 mares).
During high school and college I earned money for my horse by making and selling jewelry. In 1970 I graduated from the University
of Nevada, Reno, with a rather useless degree in Anthropology. Shortly after meeting and marrying my husband, Phil, in 1974, I
opened a custom framing and gift shop. I ran the store until we moved to the Prescott, AZ area in 2002. Phil and I enjoy flying and
scuba diving together when we get the chance. I never planned to become a metal artist, it came about in a round about way. Years
ago, Phil found some old tractor seats. I loved them. Every time we moved he asked "Are we moving those ****** seats again?" I kept
telling him I wanted to use them for bar stools and we dragged them around for 20 or so years. Finally, when we built our house in
Paulden, I signed up for a welding class at Yavapai College. Challenged by it, I entered the metal sculpture class at Yavapai and was
hooked. My first project was a 6' saguaro made of horseshoes from my own horses. I went on to make several more sculptures and then
made the bar stools. Phil was amazed that we finally used the tractor seats. I entered one of my road runner sculptures in a show at the
college and when it sold, my excitement lead to making more pieces to sell. When ever possible I make my work kinetic. I love movement.
Working in series, many of my early pieces were outdoor sculptures made of horseshoes and accentuated with stained glass. I have been
very fortunate in my friends, who save horseshoes and car parts for me and have even been known to pick up odd pieces of steel from
roadsides for me to use. Currently, I'm doing lare mobiles from slices of steel pipe, set with stained glass and also steam punk pieces from
recycled auto parts. My indoor sculptures are often floral in nature and finished with transparent auto paint or metal dye. Most of my work
is based on my love of the beauty of nature, my horses and the Southwest area.
photo by
Kathy Cortez