Charles McBride White

"Nature is my stimulus. I work to imply a feeling of motion and emotion. I like the linear quality I get from constructing in metal, as if I am creating three-dimensional drawings. I do not try to recreate nature in detail, but use its elements to construct and communicate my ideas. I hope people will enjoy my sculptures as much as I enjoy making them."

Charles McBride White wants his sculpture to appeal to all people, be it the art critic or the average person, to stimulate people to understand its inner spirit. He wants to cause people to think and be creative in their thinking, to see nature and the world around them from a new perspective.

White’s sculptures are hand fabricated in various metals, including copper, brass, bronze and steel, using techniques from both metal smithing and blacksmithing. Unlike metal casting, fabrication is a constructive process, beginning first by cutting the metal with shears and saws, forming the metal into three dimensional shapes with hammers, rollers, and press brakes, and then assembling the sculpture with various welding techniques, often over an internal armature or skeleton. The assembled sculpture must then be cleaned of fire scale and any hand oils with either an acid bath or by sand blasting. The cleaned sculpture is then finished with a variety of treatments, including polishing to a brilliant shine, layering chemical patinas and dyes, or heating the metal with a torch then scrubbing into the hot metal with a brass brush for a golden hue. It is all quite a labor-intensive process.

After serving in the U. S. Air Force where he first learned to weld, White went on to receive his BFA in sculpture in 1974 from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, which included a year of study in Florence, Italy. It was his time in Italy that shaped his outlook on art in general and sculpture specifically, recognizing the delicate balance between aesthetic complexity and pleasing statement.