Freedom artist brings nature to life with metal and scraps

By Ryan Ward | October 17, 2023


Artist David Groenjes treats his work as one giant puzzle. 

“I’ll dump pieces out all over the floor and on my tables and everything,” says Groenjes. “I’ll take pieces and there’s a lot of times it just doesn’t fit, and you’ll take a piece and then you’ll find where it fits.”

Groenjes is a self-taught welder, started out working on cars at a local repair shop. However, as time went on, he started experimenting with welding outside of work. Making small sculptures and statues out of reused metal and scrap. 

“Everything I use is, for the most part, cast iron, mild steel, or stainless steel,” says Groenjes. “I’d say about 90 to 95% of my materials is the waste product from either old pieces of equipment, old car parts, tractor parts, or industrial waste from factories.”

DG Sculpture and Design has been shipped and bought all over the United States. Groenjes mostly focuses on animals and nature-themed work. He’s made stuff based on things as small as bees to as big as an elk or a horse.

“I like to take things where your mind has to kind of put the rest of it together,” says Groenjes. “So, taking pieces that have a texture that could look like a feather or maybe making a sculpture that has a lot of negative space where half the sculpture you’re looking through to the background and the rest of it is material and letting your mind kind of fill in the pieces.”

Groenjes can’t wait to finish one puzzle so he can move on to the next.

“It allows me to think outside the box a lot,” says Groenjes. “And I think that constant, you know, the activity of thinking helps me.”

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward is a producer for the “Wisconsin Life” project and can rest easy after he finally found the perfect jar of homemade dill pickles at the farmer’s market in Madison. … just like his Grandma Shirley use to make!
2023-10-23T12:37:02-05:00Tags: , , |

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