Artist Categories: Three Dimensional Art

Shannon Hansen

“My sculptural concepts are conceived from mechanical, aerodynamic, industrial architecture and natural forms. Most sculptures start from sketched which are uploaded to CAD modeling software, altered and then fabricated. I work with carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Surface finishes include grinding, sanding, anodizing natural rust patinas and acrylic urethane painting.

My formal education, includes a Bachelor of Technology Degree, and Associate Degrees in Industrial Welding and Nondestructive Testing. I had the skills and knowledge to build sculpture before I developed a keen interest in art and sculpture. I have used my technical training to express myself and explore the sculptural possibilities that compel me to make these forms. I embrace the creative process – the act of making and seeing – and leave the meaning to the viewer.”

“My first exposure to art was watching my dad draw cartoon characters and cowboys.
I studied welding, metallurgy and nondestructive testing in college. I understand the properties of metal. I developed the technical skills and craft but it wasn’t until a few years later that I began exploring what it meant to make sculpture. I helped a friend make a sculpture for his front yard (his design) and at about the same time took an art history class that renewed my interest in art. The experience of helping make my friend’s sculpture lead me to think more critically about what sculpture was or could be. I began seeing it as more than just welding some shapes together and making something “cool.”

I started to see the possibilities of forms in space. I started looking at sculpture, the history of 20th century sculpture and exploring the possibilities of form. The “Tour de Lincoln” bike sculpture project sparked my interest and for first time I created a series of maquettes for the show and one was selected and commissioned. This was my first introduction to producing a serious large-scale sculpture and I’ve been making and developing a sculptural vocabulary ever since.

I’m especially fascinated by the geometry of form and how form interacts in a defined space. I spend hours looking at the relationships of positive and negative space and the contrast and conflicts created in that space. I tend to work in series and create many small maquettes to examine spatial relationships in the round. Ultimately a few of the maquettes reveal enough satisfying sculptural possibilities that I then make much larger finished sculptures. By the time I begin executing large forms, I also begin the process of making decisions about surface, texture, patina and color.
I continue making sculpture because the more I explore the more possibilities I find. It’s a process that has no end. It’s a challenge and adventure.” – Hansen