This Holiday Schwinn will be featuring an artist of handmade good each week of December. Each week we will introduce an artist on Monday and then give you three chances to win their amazing goods and a Schwinn bicycle of your very own. To enter, visit us on Facebook Tuesday – Wednesday each week of December!
Featured Artist Week 2| Dave Hardell| Metal Sculptor & Welder
Dave rides the Schwinn Rocket 4.
Dave Hardell, 48, began his craft as a teenager. Today, he resides in Windsor Mill, Maryland, where he is a full time metal sculptor and welder. Dave creates one-of-a-kind pieces out of recycled metals and other unique materials.
Continue reading to learn more about Dave’s unique work space and how he uses bicycle parts to create metal masterpieces.
Schwinn: How did you first become interested in your craft?
Dave: I started out 30 years ago as a European style apprentice for a local Master Goldsmith in Blacksburg, Virginia. I worked in his studio for 9 years before striking out on my own opening Dave Hardell Jeweler.
After a few years of making high-end custom jewelry on my own, I decided to buy a used welder and teach myself how to use it. I was immediately taken with it and really learned to appreciate how to manipulate metal on a larger scale.
I started incorporating scrap metal and used bike parts to create my own brand of bike gear art and useful household items. I changed the name of my business to Dave Hardell Sculptor about 10 years ago and started making sculpture and furniture full time.
Schwinn: At what point did you decide to start selling your items?
Dave: I have always been a full time artist, relying on sales and custom commissions.
In high school I bought my first car by selling sterling silver earrings to teachers and my peers.
Schwinn: What is your favorite item to create and why?
Dave: I really enjoy making bicycle gear clocks and large wall sculptures. I like the usefulness of the clocks and I enjoy making larger wall pieces that contain a lot of parts. I incorporate subtle pops of color to almost all of my pieces to make them look more interesting.
Schwinn: Do you have other favorite past times?
Dave: I love spending time hiking and cycling with my wife and our dog. We live on a little farm outside of Baltimore, Maryland, which is surrounded by state parks full of trails. We enjoy cooking and entertaining our large circle of great friends. Mostly, I just love making things in my metal studio, which is in the basement of our house. Yes, I have a two story commute to work.
Schwinn: What are some of your favorite things to do in Windsor Mill, Maryland?
Dave: One of the best trail systems on the East Coast is right in my backyard, so I really enjoy spending time exploring and finding new things. I spend a lot of time tinkering around the studio and making art for our living space. It is a 1924 farmhouse, so there are many things to tinker around with.
Schwinn: Who first taught you to ride a bike? How old were you?
Dave: I remember having a paper route when I was 8 years old. I inherited it from my oldest brother who is the one that taught me how to ride a bike.
Schwinn: What is your favorite feature of the Schwinn Rocket 4?
Dave: I love my Rocket 4. It does everything I look for in a bike. It is light enough to easily maneuver through tight terrain. I also love the shock system!
Schwinn: What is something unique about you?
Dave: I have been told that I have a pretty sick sense of humor. I prefer to call it a refined sense of humor.
Schwinn: What is something you would like others to know about you? About biking? About your products?
Dave: I make artwork not only for cyclists, but true art lovers. Using recycled bike parts and found objects, such as driftwood and rocks, is a huge part I love about what I do. I am saving things from ending up in the landfill to be forgotten forever, and giving them a brand new life. That is pretty cool I think.
Dave’s Motto to Live by: “Work hard, but play harder!”
Check out Dave’s work at his self titled etsy shop davehardell.