Metal sculpture in rural Nebraska

Sculpture artist Sally Jurgensmier uses old pieces of metal and discarded equipment to produce some stunning pieces of metal art.

You can often find Sally in her workshop on the family farm just south of Heartwell. "I do metal sculpture, and I try to use as many recycled items as I can," Jurgensmier said. "I have some resources close by that make getting those pieces easy, as far as a machine shop, a tool and die business, things of that nature. I will go through their dumpsters or their 'mistakes', and they will speak to me. I will see something that relates to a subject or topic that might be of interest to someone or to me. I will see a sculpture and weld it together."

Jurgensmier says her work is a stress reliever, as well as being creative and fun. She welds her pieces together in a machine shed behind her house. Her showroom is in another machine shed a short walk away. "I do mig welding, which is a simple form of wire welding, and I always say if I can do it, then anyone can do it. But I will tell you, the longer I do it, the better I get at it," Jurgensmier said.

"I've always had a creative side, and I felt a need to release it," Jurgensmier said. She went to Hastings college and got an art degree. "Some people would think, 'Oh, she grew up on a farm, and her dad was a welder, and that's how it all came about." No, she says. Her father was a farmer, but not a welder. Both her father and mother were surprised she chose welding and metal art, but were very supportive of her choice. "The older I get, I feel like I want to do art for art's sake. Sometimes it involves working out a trouble spot in my life. How can I relate to it? If I can do that in a sculpture, then the sculpture becomes more meaningful," Jurgensmier said.

If you'd like to know more about Sally Jurgensmier and her art, you can visit her showroom south of Heartwell. She will also be involved in many summer festivals. You can also check out her work on her website at sculpturesbysally.com.