Blowin’ in the wind
Local sculptor Tim McKee creates wind-powered metal art objects
Tim McKee started wind-vane sculpture a few months ago, after 30 years as a welder and metalworker. Once he had made a rooster with spinner for a friend, McKee says, he was hooked. Nowadays, he has a room full of colorful and imaginative pieces, as he builds up a collection in preparation for possible shows in the future.
This group includes an arrow; a large, old-fashioned, large-wheeled bicycle; a wonderful dragon (complete with fire); an excellent Model T car; a biplane; and a fantasy piece with directional arrow and a center-spinning wheel of flags.
McKee shapes his works by hand, using a vice-like instrument that he created. The sculptures that result are all deceptively delicate-looking structures that, on closer inspection, are obviously quite strong and ready for high winds.
And he achieves some beautiful shapes: His latest work is an old-fashioned surrey drawn by two horses with flowing manes and tails. The wheels are spinners to be moved by the breeze. All the pieces have wind rudders in the back of the shape, always cleverly incorporated as a part of the design. The Model T, for example, has a dust cloud at the rear that is actually the rudder. All work is brightly colored and graceful and, of course, comes on its own stand.
McKee also makes very attractive smaller sculptures: sinuous, snakelike candleholders, fantasy alien beings, and elegant modern sculptures with organic, flowing shapes. He becomes quite animated when discussing upcoming projects: a juggling clown where the items he is juggling are part of the spinning wheel—hatchets, knives, balls, etc—and a possible Ferris wheel, complete with fair-goers in the cars.
This work is quite unique and charming and should be seen to be appreciated. You may contact the artist at: Tim McKee, P.O. Box 4496, Chico, CA 95927. Check it out.