Flat Toad Iron Works — Ole McKellip
Ole McKellip works primarily in metal and wrought iron, fabricating animals –
and people both real and imagined – out of pieces of steel posts, rebar, grating,
and other objects. The farmers standard “T” steel fencing post is a trademark
of his to include as a backbone in his iron people, and animals.
This alligator has five “T” posts bent and shaped into his scaly skin along with teeth created out of garden rakes.
His work has been on display and for sale at the Grassroots Art Center since
2014. Ole is a shy “self-taught” grassroots artist. His wife Christine visited the
art center and first told us about his creative adventures. He considers himself
somewhat of a perfectionist and wants the figures “just right”.
Flat Toad Iron Works is his business which was doing paint and body work on
cars. He restored antiques, the old metal gas pumps and cars before getting
into metal sculptures.
Ole’s daughter, Charlotte is standing beside her medical profession sculpture along with his son, Brad‘s rebar musician sculpture. Each of his children’s metal sculptures has their own tattoos. Grandson, Henry, also in the photo has his own “Henry’s pulltoy.” A sculpture that is about five feet long and two foot wide, looks like a “deerosaurs” that Henry sits on and grandpa pulls him around the yard.
McKellip has been involved with the “street pole art” at Lucas creating rebar fish that attached to downtown lamp posts. Some of his metal art is also on display in the art center’s courtyard. The exhibit will be on display, October 10—March 25, 2020.