I worked as a Union Sheet Metal Worker for 17 years. I was a foreman, I blocked and laid out fittings by hand and welded a lot in the nuclear field across the country. I have 25 years of experience as a welder with my early industrial days.
I started experimenting with metal art about 10 years ago creating Christmas presents for my family. I have always been artsy in the more traditional art of oils, watercolors, acrylics and pencil graduating high school with honors in art.
October 1st 2013 while hunting elk on the lava fields near where I lived, I stepped upon a loose rock while climbing up a shelf of lava rock. I landed on my back, inclined with my head downward at a 45° angle. One of my feet was wedged between two rocks, I couldn’t breath and blood from numerous punctures and cuts from the rough lava soon covered my arms and soaked into my clothes. My lower back had a sharp intense pain, my legs wouldn’t work and I believed i broke my back. I lost conscience, when I awoke I found my legs worked again and painfully got back on my feet again and slowly hobbled the two miles back to the truck.
The broken ribs, cuts and punctures healed but my back never did. A MRI revealed I have severe degeneration to my lower vertebrae coupled with birth defects to my pelvis and lower back. A year of pain management and PT were not successful. I became a liability to the trade I loved and filed for disability.
A year of depression and wanting to kill myself led me down a pretty dark path. I cashed out my 401k, paid off bills and purchased a welder and plasma and began to slowly find a purpose for myself. It has been a struggle. I survived a couple of heart attacks and lost my shop when my wife decided I was not worth supporting.
I create my work outside in the elements, not by choice but out of necessity. My work basically represents my memories, my stories I share of my former adventurous lifestyle. The wild mountains and plains along with the wildlife of the West is my favorite theme.
I hand cut my art, as an artist the use of a CNC is cheating. If you can’t draw it or cut it but rely on a machine to create it, it better be called home décor, not art. I only flame color my work, a technique that is difficult to say the least. Flame colored metal, with its prismatic effect seems to come to life with the illusion of movement.
At this time my work is sold on online auction sites such as Creative Spirit Marketplace and Artisan Studio Gallery.
One of a Kind Metal Sculpture.
Follow Troy’s journey and see his newest creations on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TRidermetalart/ and view his art available for sale in his Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/oneofakindmetalart
I am truly moved by Troy’s journey and his courage to push through in spite of all of his hardship. He is an inspiration to me! -BarbieTheWelder
What part of Troy’s journey inspired you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.