"We use simple hand tools to honor the enduring traditions of art and agriculture."
Ben and Kate Gatski are a husband-and-wife team. Their lives past and present inspire their work, and both were raised in creative families. Today they live on a hill that overlooks the Gatski family farm. Ben enjoys milking a few dairy cows by hand each morning and raising heritage pigs. The Gatskis' metalwork is fueled by their passion and knowledge of farming.
Ben collects farm machinery that can no longer be used. It is torn apart with wrenches, saws, and sometimes torches, and thrown in the back of their old pick up truck. He brings it home to his small rural shop. The patterns are hand drawn on the metal with soapstone and cut with a hand-held plasma cutter. The pieces are then welded together with an arc welder.
Ben began welding at the age of thirteen, when he was given a welder by his father. He began experimenting with welding pieces of farm equipment together. At the age of nineteen, he was building small birds and other sculptures for family friends. Aside from a vocational welding short course completed just a few years ago, he is entirely self taught.