December 11, 2011

Building on a job weld done

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Jay Sawyer suspended a spheroid created by Dave McLaughlin inside one of his own making for “Late Collaboration,” which stands in a sculpture garden on Sawyer’s property in Warren. Sawyer vows to carry forward McLaughlin’s vision for heavy-metal art.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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In this 2004 file photo, Dave McLaughlin is shown with a spherical work like the one that Jay Sawyer incorporated into his piece “Late Collaboration.”

Telegram file

He met McLaughlin through professional work. They were competitors, vying for salvaging jobs.

As they became friends and developed mutual respect and admiration, they began working together.

McLaughlin enlisted Sawyer's help for big jobs, and Sawyer turned to McLaughlin for input about art.

Inspired by McLaughlin, Sawyer began making sculptures less than a decade ago. He liked the creative outlet, and enjoyed finding unlikely uses for discarded material. He has never studied art, and found his way by taking chances and experimenting.

In 2007, Sawyer opened his yard as an outdoor sculpture gallery, Stemwinder Sculpture Works and Garden, and invited the public to see his bulky, rusting sculptures. This year, he opened his gallery every Monday from June to October.

His work is getting around. Disappointed with his inability to sell the horseshoe sculpture in Kentucky, he began working the scene in Maine, and this fall succeeded in selling it to the Owls Head Transportation Museum. He has another piece on display at the Boothbay Region Art Foundation in Boothbay Harbor.

This year, for the first time, his income from art sales exceeded his income from his welding profession.

Motivated to honor his late friend, Sawyer vows to keep his art the focus of his work going forward.

"I am so honored to think that Dave is passing the torch," he says. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

Twitter: pphbkeyes


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