Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 12
by Heather Berry | email@example.com
Stainless steel artist Doug Cox takes scraps of steel and brings them to
life as whimsical sculptures of all sizes.
Doug Cox and his
stainless steel creations
RURAL MISSOURI | JANUARY 2021
eathered hands pick up the smooth stainless
steel as if it were a piece of glass. The craftsman wipes the dust off onto his jeans. His
smile indicates Doug Cox has found a diamond
in the rough.
" These make great bug bodies, " Doug says, picking up a
used stainless steel tank handle.
For the past 25 years, Doug has been a stainless steel
finisher at the Paul Mueller Co. in Springfield. The international firm specializes in tanks, vessels and reactors
for chemicals, medicine, food, beverages and more. When
Doug sees a bin full of stainless steel scrap after a long day
at work, his eyes light up in anticipation of what fanciful
creations he can form from the metal.
After high school and some college classes, the Republic
artist's career took him into sandblasting and welding, but
his love of art was always there in the background.
" I really thought I'd be a graphic artist, " says the
63-year-old metalworker. " But life takes you in lots of directions and that wasn't my path. "
Through the years Doug picked up tips from old-school
welders who'd been working with metal for decades. While
he's a certified welder, Doug's job requires detailing and
polishing stainless steel surfaces until they shine like
stars. That attention to detail is part of what makes Doug's
off-hours projects look so good.
" My wife, Tammy, feels like a shop widow sometimes, "
Doug says, pointing up toward the house. " That said, I
think she understands my drive to create - I hope. "
Some artists want to make pieces for interior decorations. Doug's work usually takes up some serious space
- and usually outdoors. Pieces such as " Abstract Woman
with Factory Air, " " Dragonfly Moon " and " The Amazing
Blabadors: Maggie and Rufus " range in height from 4 feet
up to 15 feet and can weigh in at a hefty 500 pounds.
Doug's work has been part of art exhibits such as
Sculpture Walk Springfield. The free public art installation is sponsored by local businesses to help pay small
stipends to the juried artists. If selected, the art is publicly
displayed and rotated on a yearly basis for everyone to enjoy. Doug feels blessed that several of his pieces have been
part of the art walk the past few years.
" I feel honored just to have been selected to have work
on display, " says the artist. " They receive submissions
from all around the world. "
There's a lot of whimsy in Doug's style.
" Well, my frogs do usually end up with a set of Rolling
Stones lips with a tongue hanging out, " Doug says, " and
the monkeys do look a bit like they're up to something. I
let my inner child out when I'm creating something. "
The monkeys truly are up to something and they've
Rural Missouri - January 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2021
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Rural Missouri - January 2021 - Contents
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