Contact • Inspiration • Perspiration
Welcome to Salmon Studios
The galleries in this site present a broad cross section of my journey into the metallurgical arts.
My work encompasses sculptural furniture, eye catching commercial signage, custom architectural elements and non-functional metal sculpture. I work with customers and collectors to create site specific furniture pieces, entrance gates, staircases and lighting fixtures. I design, build and install commercial signs with the same level of inspiration and creativity. My true passion is non-functional metal sculpture and I believe my pieces speak for themselves. Several of the sculptures displayed on this site are available for rent or purchase and other custom pieces can be created upon request. Some pieces may not be suitable for small children or people with heart conditions.
I have a well equipped studio and enjoy working on a variety of metal sculpture projects and the challenges they present. My wide range of metal working tools and machinery, combined with my sculptural and sometimes restrictive seating, also allows me to offer complete dental and oral surgery services. Be sure to ask about the discounted tooth pulling and crown repair available with each sculpture commission —limit one per customer.
Studio tours are available by appointment.
Contact info as follows:
Salmon Studios / Sam Ostroff
P.O. Box 1155
Northampton, MA 01061
221 Pine St. - Studio 159
Florence, MA 01062
e-mail address: email@example.com
back to top
Forms and proportions found in nature are inherently beautiful to the human eye. Fibonacci may have been the first artist to observe and record the most famous of these proportions, but for centuries Musicians, Architects, Scientists and Artists have created symphonies, spaces, equations and works of art that have followed natures lead into beauty. The fantastic process of evolution over more time than we can comprehend has sculpted chaos into order, randomness into beauty, the inorganic into the organic—while simultaneously designing the most amazing machine with the ability to comprehend and appreciate it. Cumulative chance it seems, may be the greatest creator of all.
Symmetry is beauty—it is a fundamental element of life and evolution- we perceive the world in terms of symmetry—we see and hear in stereo- our brains, also symmetrical, have been hardwired to the language of symmetry. Take any random shape, mirror it, and it seems to make more sense. I often find myself creating symmetrical sculptures without being conscious of it. Other times I'm very careful in creating a symmetrical set of gates where the two halves need to be mirror images. The Art Nouveau movement saw a great appreciation for symmetry and organic forms. Many of the artists and designers of the time realized their ideas in steel, creating beautiful gates, entrance ways and sometimes entire building facades that fused elements of nature and industry. Many of my own gates, decorative screens and architectural works are greatly influenced by some of the design elements from the Art Nouveau movement.
I have been exposed to metal and machinery my whole life, and know that the industrial setting of my father's machine shop began seeping into my head at a young age. I've now had my own shop setup in three similar 19th century mills, each influencing my sculpture with their dark mystique and industrial architecture. Many of the great steel structures made possible by the industrial are themselves very inspiring because of their immense size; the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge and Chrysler Building are metal sculptures on the grandest scale.
Music, however, may prove to be my greatest inspiration—perhaps more than anything my eyes have seen. From Bach to Beck; Nine Inch Nails to Sibelius, I believe that music has an energy; an ability to communicate unparalleled by anything in the physical world. I have a great love for the romantic period—Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Shostakovich—their music in particular conveys an emotional intensity I strive to infuse into my sculpture. It was a time when artists, writers and composers worked to produce art, literature or music that could convey to another the emotion that compelled them to create in the first place. It is this very ability to communicate, connect and transcend that I wish to achieve with my art—so that someone else may be inspired by my Sonata #1, walking through a set of my gates or especially sitting in one of my electric chairs- and understand for a moment what I may have been feeling when I created it.
back to top
My sculptures are alive; alive but frozen in time. The life of these forms is breathed into the lifeless steel; to sculpt is to coerce the material into taking forms it would otherwise not have. While I am working to make a career out of metal sculpture, furniture and creative signage, my true passion is non-functional sculpture. Gallery #2 contains a selection of my large scale metal sculpture. Several of these works directly address the music that inspired them. Beginning with "Sonata # 1" I sought to create a series of pieces, some functional, some non-functional, that jumped the boundary between music and sculpture. Whereas music exists only in the axis of time, sculpture exists only in the axis of space. It's my feeling, though, that the same parts of our brains are responsible for creating and understanding these two deceivingly different mediums. I often perceive a sculpture as a symphony in space, and a piece of music as sculpture in time.
While many of my furniture pieces may not be meant to express the kind of emotion or intensity that my larger non-functional pieces do, I still try to be artful in composing their shapes and proportions. I find myself creating organic, symmetrical, highly sculptural shapes that become the literal base for a functional piece- a large coffee table or seating. Texture, depth and form themselves are often the very themes of my work. I try to use texture in my work the way a painter uses color. My works may consist of limited shades of gray, silver or bluish steel, but interact with the pieces, touch their various surfaces and you will feel a world of rich color.
While I do occasionally use found objects in my sculpture, I work primarily with stock material, such as pipe, bar and plate. This allows more freedom to create my own shapes and forms, rather than being limited to those which I can find. More and more of my architectural and commercial projects, as well as some furniture pieces, are first designed in CAD and from there patterns and shapes can easily be laser cut. In contrast, many of my more sculptural pieces start with an idea and I simply begin to build. The subjects I explore vary greatly, but many of the design elements remain consistent. I feel that sometimes too much planning can get in the way of a good creative groove and sometimes I find it's best to put on Beethoven's 9th, just get to work and let the creativity flow...
back to top