I’m a person who learns from my hands. I was born in Mali, West Africa and grew up fixing cars and bikes. As I got older, I worked on various construction projects. People would ask me to fix simple machines. As I learned more and more, I started fixing more complex equipment. We never wasted any materials in Mali and would always find creative ways to repair things.
When I came to the US, all I knew was how to work on engines. I worked as a car mechanic and started to learn how to weld. Then my kids were born, and I became a stay-at-home dad. We spent a lot of time outside in the garden observing different plants, flowers, and animals. My son was really into dinosaurs. One day, we visited a museum, and I imagined how to recreate a dinosaur skeleton out of scrap metal that I had in the backyard – an oil drum and some chains.
From then on, I bought a plasma cutter and began welding scrap metal into outdoor sculptures of flowers, bugs, and animals. I use metal from oil drums, broken bikes, gears, discarded engine parts – whatever I can find, and other people don’t want. The images came from what I love in the natural world – birds, insects, and plants—and what I can imagine –dragons and robots. I have recently started experimenting with abstract sculptures – thinking about form and balance. I am completely self-taught and push myself to try new things and create new pieces.