Artist Gary Hovey uses his forks, knives, and spoons much differently than the rest of us. The Ohio-based artist builds intricate sculptures by cutting, welding, and shaping the stainless steel materials together into animal forms.
Upon first glance, the many wildlife figures, like birds, fish, and bears, have realistic shapes. It is only upon closer inspection that the details and texture of the materials become more clear. Each piece of flatware contributes unique qualities: fork prongs create layers of feathers and fur; spoons add rounded curves; and knives produce a shiny flat surface.
The most exceptional part of Hovey's story is that, in 1994, he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease. Although the news was difficult, he was determined to keep living his life and creating his brilliant sculptures. "I work when I'm able to move. Family and friends carry sculptures for me. But I still get to make them,” says Hovey, I don't think the quality has suffered, but it does take longer to make them. It helps financially support my family and it is therapy for me. It has allowed me to meet many wonderful people."