Shadow Sculpture

In it’s simplest form, a Shadow Sculpture is an artwork that looks like one thing, yet casts the shadow of something else. I love the challenge of creating these!

Imagine … an artwork which looks like a sad, forlorn situation. Yet, it casts a shadow showing joy and resurrection! That describes “Golgotha,” a Shadow Sculpture created to honor Easter 2012.

This describes a series of Shadow Sculptures being created at Roadrunner Forge by artist-blacksmith Mike Mumford. Join me for a tour of some of these artworks, and the joy of creating them.

Welcome to my Shadow Sculptures

Creating Shadow Sculptures has been a fun, interesting challenge for me, which I would like to share with you. In it’s simplest terms, a Shadow Sculpture is an artwork which looks like one thing when viewed directly, but which casts the shadow of something else.

shadow sculptureAn example is Desert Dwellers – this work looks like a stylized roadrunner, but casts the shadow of a howling coyote. It synthesizes and contrasts two different animals that we often see in our local deserts.

The concept of a Shadow Sculpture is not original to me — there is a small community of people who make such pieces. My chosen medium of forged steel is less common – but it’s what I like to work in.

Much of the enjoyment of creating shadow sculptures lies in the challenge of fusing two ideas together — the idea embodied in what the artwork looks like when viewed directly, versus the idea portrayed in the shadow. To me, the most enjoyable and fun pieces are when the two ideas offer interesting contrasts. If I can cause the viewer to feel the contrast of those ideas, then the artwork has succeeded.

Inspiration for shadow sculptures comes from a wide variety of sources: some times it’s an event or holiday (Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day), some times it’s picking a theme and trying to create something that addresses that theme, and some times it’s just serendipity.

I welcome commissions: if you have an idea or pair of ideas that you would like integrated into a shadow sculpture, please use the contact form to ask me. It is always a fun challenge to address someone’s concept.

Please enjoy exploring these sculptures – I invite you to discover the ideas in the gallery, and the discussion in the FAQ section. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating these, and hope that they interest and engage you.