Bryan Baer is a metal sculptor whose works are seen throughout the Co-op. The largest of these is a bird sculpture he calls the Great Blue Heron perched high above the main floor.
Bryan’s metal sculpting began when his creative mind saw the possibilities of using parts from his day work as a welder in heavy equipment repair which he has done for many years. He began collecting parts that were of no use in the repair business and were just tossed out. He initially had no clear plan but thought the gears, heavy springs, rods, cams, etc., were interesting pieces. As they stacked up he studied the work of other metal sculptors; and since he already had the skills and equipment to weld, cut and form metal pieces, he decided to see what he could make with these spare parts.
About five years ago he started creating pieces and putting them in his yard. His neighbors were impressed and bought his sculptures which spurred his imagination to make more interesting creations. Where others might see ball bearings, railroad spikes, or horseshoes he sees feathers, crab pinchers, eyes, bird legs. and the like. He then puts them together in interesting and often whimsical ways. His imagination takes over when he walks in his shop and sees parts from ball bearings to brake drums. He usually has all the parts he needs but admits that sometimes he scouts around in junkyards and auto shops to find a special part that completes a creation.
Bryan sells his sculptures on eBay and at craft shows and fairs. His creations are compelling enough that people have been willing to pay more for the shipping than for the price of the piece itself. Some of his small pieces only take a few hours to weld and shape. Others he has spent seven to eight months trying to find the right pieces and ways to fit them together as his mind envisions. Sometimes he sees it all before he starts and at other times the end product comes out of the process itself. It took 178 small pieces of metal welded on the great heron just to create the feathers for this striking and beautiful sculpture. He gives most of his pieces names that strike his fancy and taps into past memories. Songs from the ’80s are a special source of names and titles that he may use. Each piece may have significance as a reminder of events from his past such as a whimsical piece he entitled “Scorpion” that refers to a song and a memory.
Bryan’s partner, Kymberlee, is a major supporter of his work and is working toward marketing some of her own creations as well. She does tie-dye clothing, jewelry, and is making Christmas ornaments. Bryan is considering branching out and making some smaller items like ornaments and decorative objects. Besides working full time he finds the time and energy to hike, mountain bike, and do cross fit training. We have to know that he is in good shape to lug some of these heavy pieces around his shop! We are privileged to have him as a member of the Co-op and grateful that he is always willing to do his part to keep Artistic Portland successful.
Stop by Artistic Portland to view and purchase Bryan's work in person!