On he ledge
On The Ledge
by Dace Koenigsknecht
Of his work, Koenigsknecht writes, “This piece is inspired by the trees that grow atop the most precarious cliffs and ledges of Michigan - whether in Grand Ledge or Pictured Rocks in the beautiful Upper Peninsula. I find their bared roots and twisted trunks exhibit a rustic beauty not seen in traditional forests.” On the Ledge is Dace’s second sculpture in the Walk of Art, joining Golden Canopy which was installed in 2014. “As the son of an artist and master metalsmith, my blood is the confluence of the two. It was inevitable that metal would become my medium. Encouraged from an early age not to follow parental paths, artistic expression was not given much attention – or repressed all together. However, flashes of passion and skill with the sterile medium garnered praise and support that fueled the dormant flame. I am a metal artist! “I’ve created a wide array of functional and artistic metal pieces, finding pleasure in the process of creation – plan, sketch, fabricate, and deliver. The intellectual exercise and challenge is motivating, and the craftsmanship of handwork is very rewarding. I enjoy creating unique objects that are used or encourage interaction. I like abstraction because of the mental engagement required of the viewer. Their past and present experiences will ‘personalize’ what they see. My work simply offers a platform for mental junkets of whimsy and calmness.” Koenigsknecht watched his father work with sheet metal for as long as he can remember. He grew up in St. Johns, Michigan, and after brief stints in other communities, has returned to St. Johns with his wife, step-son, and two daughters. Though he obtained degrees in history and historic preservation, Dace has found himself immersed in the world of art, and it's quite shiny for this metal worker. Dace has been crafting and creating metal pieces of art for just a few years. “I learned everything I know by eye,” he said smiling. Dace works primarily with reclaimed metal, pieces of steel and iron that might look like nothing but rusty sheets to anyone else. To Dace, there are images captured in each piece just calling out to be put together into something unique. He usually starts by sketching a design for ideas. “There are a lot of things to take into account other than just what it's going to look like. For bigger pieces, you have to consider safety and durability as well, especially if they're going to be outside.” Dace regards his creative process as free-form building. “I might have it all sketched out and have ideas in my head, but I make decisions about where each piece goes as I put it together. Sometimes I just flat out change my mind.” he said. He certainly has the space to make such decisions. Dace's workshop is a complete metal wonderland with multiple sets of tools, tables, anvils, welding equipment, and a forge, allowing him to heat up the metal and bend it to his will. Created 2015 Dimensions: 12’ high, 7’ wide, 5’ deep, 200 pounds Medium: Painted Steel
Location Elk Rapids Day Park, 920 S Bay Shore Dr, Elk Rapids MI, Williamsburg
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