Steve Mount, found object sculptor.


Surfer, scavenger, sculptor.  Santa Monica native, Steve Mount, creates unique sculptures and fascinating mobiles fashioned from scrap metal, bailing wire and other rusty debris collected on trips to the beach, the mountains and the deserts of Southern California.

Steve possesses a deep love of finding and collecting lost "treasures" and other interesting, well weathered stuff.  This affection was no doubt nutured by many happy days spent camping with his beloved gypsy grandmother, Ethel, in her '62 VW camper.  Today, with this joy of discovery deeply ingrained in his spirit, Steve heads out on scavenging forays in high anticipation of finding whatever gifts the ocean or the desert may set before him.

With a sharp eye for discerning improbable and unintended beauty in what would otherwise be thought of as trash, Steve is able to fashion truly unique, one-off pieces that can never be duplicated nor reproduced in any way. His mobiles and other assemblages reflect a natural sense of balance, showing off the simple, accidental beauty of a shape, texture and patina produced by years of weathering in the desert, flowing down a river or tumbling in the surf and corroding in the salty beach air.

Steve's work becomes an artful point on this circle of naturalization with each piece rescued, for the moment, from nature's reclaiming process that has given it such unique and irreplacable character.  The improbable beauty of each piece is further enhanced by the fact that he carefully and purposefully preserves the original shape of the found objects that he uses in his work.

We invite you to view these surprisingly beautiful and completely unique works of art fashioned from very old, well worn and weathered junk.  Experience for yourself the same joy of discovery that Steve experiences in his pursuit of the beautiful and unexpected gifts this life has to offer.


Artist Update: July 2017
Steve has recently returned from a scavenging mission to the southeastern Sierra with a fresh load of beautiful, rusty stuff.  Plan is to continue work on the 18 piece limited edition line of Spiny Rockfish (pictured at right and below).  He also plans to produce more Mobiles soon as well as introduce a new 3 Piece concept where he combines three exceptionally well suited pieces in one wall mounted design.  Photos to follow.
He has also begun working with light, incorporating it to illuminate and enhance the color and texture of the naturalized pieces that he retrieves.  Of particular interest is a 4" diameter steel pipe that he has lit from within so as to accentuate a slash cut into one end of the pipe.  Photos to follow.
We also hope to showcase other artists working primarily in re-claimed materials and will present those individuals and works as they become known to us.
Thanks for your interest...

Studio Terra Cottage

Santa Monica, California, 951-323-1852

Questions or comments?  sjmount@verizon.net

Currently seeking gallery representation. 


Number 3 of 18 now in the collection of Dr. Phillip and Julie Sanderson of Del Mar, CA.
 
Rockfish 1. Sentimental value; artist's keeper.
Rockfish 2 now in the art collection of son Dane.
Rockfish 3 renamed 'Roxy'.
 
Rockfish 2 in it's former life in Hawaii.
'Roxy' at the Sandersons' home in Del Mar.
Rockfish 4 given to Ruth and Jim Mount with love.
Rockfish 5 in the collection of Daryl and Liz Lev of Malibu.
Rockfish 6 in the collection of Cheri and Imad Bitar formerly of Santa Monica.
Rockfish 4 at home with Ruth and Jim Mount.
At home in Malibu Canyon with the Levs.
In place at the Bitar's new home in Malibu.
Rockfish 7 in the collection Patroness Debbie and Jim in Pacific Palisades, CA
Rockfish 8 now in the collection of Debra and Graham Wong.
Rockfish 9 in the private collection of Judy Neveau.
 
Rockfish 8 in Los Angeles with Debra and Graham Wong.
"Spiny" the Rockfish 9 at home in the collection of Judy Neveau.
Spiny Rockfish 10 is somewhat unique in the collection in that the sandstone body has a natural curve much like you'd expect in a fish that has broken the surface of water in pursuit of prey.  In addition, the rusted through tail of the fish appears to be shedding water as well.  And finally, the base is made of beautifully weathered, broken plumbing parts and as such is completely unique in the series.  This sculpture is now in the private collection of Greg and Kathy Proshepny.  With thanks.
Rockfish 10 in the collection of Greg and Kathy
Little Fish
Occasionally, these little things happen...

Little One with Bonnie Freeman in Santa Barbara.
Little Two
 

Other sculptures by Steve Mount...


'Rusty Crane' stands nearly 6 feet tall with the body most likely the left over portion of a metal tank or pipe based on the curve of the metal and the remaining rivets.  The wing appears to have been a protective metal plate most probably used in an ore chute and is about 4 feet in width.  The base is a slightly curved 3/4" thick steel plate with evenly spaced holes.  The sculpture rests atop the pointed end of a spike 1-1/2" in diameter.  The body is counter-balanced by a heavy cast iron plate and the wings are counter-balanced by a 12" long torch cut 3/4" x 3/4" piece of steel.  The pivot and counter-balancing components have been attached using found nails, cut and hammered to function like rivets.  All parts of the Rusty Crane are in their original found condition.  In a slight breeze, the wings rock and the body turns on the mounting spike.  In a moderate breeze, it will turn 360 degrees.

This sculpture is currently available for acquisition and is priced at $4,000.


The image at the left shows the added nails and remaining rivets as well as the curled edge of the ore chute metal wing.

To the right is a detail of the head of the crane.



'My 22 Angel' has been six years in the making.  A recent scavenging trip produced a steer skull, apparently rustled for it's meat as evidenced by three 22 caliber bullet holes in the forehead.  The skull is now topped with a barbed wire halo.  The angel wings and skirt from some unknown industrial remnant, most probably a boiler plate judging by the perimeter cuts and holes (a similar, sister piece was found at the same scavenging site whole and intact, 3-1/2 feet in diameter).  The frame on which they are mounted is a true curiosity unto itself.  It came out of the rocks at the base of Sunset Boulevard and has the appearance of a gate of some kind based on a handle on the left side.  However, the structure is symmetrical and there is evidence of an identical handle on the right side of the structure which would rule out a 'gate' and perhaps mean a 'grate'.  This piece has a Georgia O'Keefe feel and would be ideal in a large, well lit area.  8' tall, 3-1/2' wide and 1' deep.


'My 22 Angel' is currently not available.

'Madonna'

This rare beauty surfaced after a major swell hit the coast and brought it to light during a minus low tide.  'Madonna' is salt water rusted 0.180" thick steel, 18" wide, 30" deep and 48" tall.  Speculation is her curves are wave created and she stands now exactly as she came home from the beach.

This piece is currently not available for purchase.


'T Ridges'

Left over from California's gold mining past, this heavy gauge corrugated steel piece has been working its way down the Tuolumne River for decades with each and every high water episode leaving its individual mark, dent or curl in the metal.  The patina and surface texture are extraordinary as well and serve to complement the man made ripples in the steel itself.  This extraordinary steel sculpture is the result of having been subjected to many years of unimaginably powerful natural forces relentlessly sculpting a piece of industrial scrap and the result is nothing less than spectacular.

This piece is currently not available for purchase.



'Found Love' series...

The Original Love, hand sewn by Ethel's mom.
"Love's the Word You Define" JFM 06/73
'Found Love, One'
The 'Found Love' series builds on the "use it as you found it" theme utilizing bits of scrap and sheet metal that have been discarded, weathered, reclaimed and selected due to their accidental likeness to the letters L, O, V and E.  Mounted on reclaimed wood, sheet metal, etc. they are intended at first to appear as an abstract.  Upon closer examination their improbable characture and message will come forth.  As new 'Found Love' pieces are created, their pictures will be added here and notice given on their availability.  'Found Love One' given to Ruth for Mother's Day 2006 with much Love.
'Found Love Two', in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the home of Debbie and Jim Osterholt. This piece is slightly more improbable in that the 'L' and 'O' are contained within the same piece of scrap: a beautifully weathered, lead soldered 1 gallon can.
'Found Love Three' at the Evoy-Mount home in Davis, CA.
'Found Love Three'
'Found Love Four' hung on the old black door of Lisa Q and MK's home in The French Quarter of New Orleans.
'Found Love Five' in the Kona art collection of Race Ready Tim.
'Found Love 6' is a gift of Love to beautiful cousin Katie. Enjoy.
'Found Love Seven', house warming and thank you gift to dear Sandra Yamane of Los Angeles.
Found Love 8 with an appreciative art Lover Barb
 
To see other temporary assemblages made by Steve, please go to www.Youtube.com and type in the search words: South Chart House.  Stacked beach tumbled concrete block structures reclaimed by the incoming tide.  Enjoy...

Studio Terra Cottage is pleased to offer this list of sites and artists with similar interest in working with found objects.  Enjoy!

  • John Taylor at www.folkartships.com.  By far and away the finest sculptor of representational art using found materials.  Simply unbelievable.  In the Smithsonian, need you say more.  The best.
  • Bill and Chad Heise at www.heisesculpture.com.  Beautiful, flowing lines expertly executed.  An excellent finish to highlight the natural beauty.  
  • Tony Brown can see things of rare and unexpected beauty where the rest of the world sees none.  And presents with great harmony, balance and childlike good humor.  www.artisttonybrown.com
  • An absolute must visit of a site and a city with a street full of re-claimed metal sculptures.  The best!  Great sense of humor.  www.patrickamiot-brigittelaurent.com
  • Our latest delightful 'find': www.claregraham.com  Consummate and dedicated collector and sculptor of unique and thoughtful lost things.  Please visit and enjoy.

 

 


Thank you Ethel, xoxo
Thank you Ruthie, xoxo