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You're most likely to find artist Mike Sluder in welding leathers and a respirator, elbow-deep in sand or brandishing a propane torch. As one of the Southeast's notable emerging artists, Mike has made a name for himself by creating breathtaking sculptures and copper wall pieces from gritty, industrial beginnings.
Casting metal is a labor-intensive, even dangerous, process that takes patience and skill. Mike trained in the art of metal casting under internationally known sculptors Carl Billingsley and Hanna Jubran. He received a B.F.A in Sculpture from East Carolina University and has worked as an artist at two major bronze foundries in the southeast.
Mike's current body of work consists of tabletop-scale bronze vessels. His intention is to bring the element of bronze, usually reserved for large public statues, into a more accessible form. The bowls and vases are unexpected - juxtaposing the strength and heft of the metal with the delicateness of the designs. Each vessel wears a trademark patina that Mike creates using a variety of chemicals to create unique lines and colors. Bronze in particular lends itself to an endless variety of patinas and finishes, making it Mike's material of choice. However, his interest in the artistry of patina has also recently motivated his series of copper wall panels, each with its own unique story and design.
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