The building blocks of life for Robert Jefferson Travis Pond’s animals are metal scraps, taken from discarded motorcycles and other heaps of seemingly obsolete material. Welding gas tanks, pipes, and gears, he creates life-sized creatures of several types. The Portland-based artist’s Steel Pond Studios focuses on taking objects that are “part of human history” and injecting new life. Half of what Pond does is collect materials, he says. And then, the creatures begin to take shape.
“Birds,” “Beasts,” and “Fish” are the first three items in the top menu of the artist’s website, and each offers varying species within its gallery. Even within the avian category, the different roosters constructed by the artist evoke moods of many colors.
As inorganic as his material must seem, there’s a fluid process in how Pond works with these scraps: “This seemingly random assortment of metal dictates its future in a very fast and spontaneous manner,” he says, in a statement. “Although I control the welds, the individual objects refuse to be forced into form. The sculpture decides for itself what it will look like and when it is complete.”