How I got to be where I am
My name is Russell Blackwell, and I create metal sculptures. I've been working for many years in order to have enough pieces to finally come forward and show my collection. Hopefully you will find favor in my art. I am self taught. When people do metal art, they have their own unique way to address a project—from choosing either found material or new material and where to begin the project. The size and scope of the artist's concepts are so wide and varied. To have my own unique interpretation is to be myself. I can't actually say I taught myself anything it seems as though my mind was hardwired from birth.
I was born and raised in South Carolina and my father had a welding shop. I became a welder at a very young age and worked many years in construction around the U.S. as a pipe welder. Many years ago working on a mountaintop in Wyoming, I reevaluated my life goals. I didn't want to be just a welder going from job to job. I always dreamed about becoming an artist, but I had never created any art. I came back to SC and built a welding shop. I called it Colonial Welding, but I never made a lot of money. I simply brought in enough to pay the bills. I worked every day trying to create art and then place it into my gallery—the Colonial Gallery. My plan was to learn how to create art and then accumulate a collection within five years, but it took eight years to finish what I considered a significant body of work. Then I would decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life. So here we are!