Hilary Engelman, MetalworkerHilary Engelman brings her passion for creative expression to the welding table at her studio in Oakland, California. There, she fuses her artistic style with the technical metal fabrication skills necessary to convert ideas into physical form. She applies this fusion of talents in both sculptural and architectural directions, often blending the two.

While her background includes the use of many sculptural materials, her fascination with metal began after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her first job after college, MIG welding motorcycle mufflers, introduced her to the true potential of this seemingly rigid and unworkable material. The depth of her interest in metal work continues to grow as new and imaginative ideas are applied to her refined skill as a professional welder.

Her company name, Fusion Metals, mimics her visual style. The name infers nature’s role in the metal itself, such as iron ore and other unrefined metallic minerals found in the earth. The contrasting relationship between industrial and natural environments influences her work, a poetic observation that emerged while exploring abandoned industrial buildings in Oakland and in Detroit, Michigan. Hilary’s designs integrate fluid organic forms into the stern clean lines of an industrial framework, a style that is inherent in her metal sculpture and architectural installations. Her most recent metal artwork incorporates recycled materials and welding dissimilar metals to bring rich contrast and texture into her original designs. Some of her work involves welding common everyday objects together, thus taking them out of context to give them a unique meaning in their new sculptural form. When she is out of the studio, she continually develops her creative process in other areas.

Hilary further defines her work through sharing knowledge as a welding instructor and as a participant in large-scale group projects. While she taught a variety of welding classes to adults and children at The Crucible, a non-profit educational organization in West Oakland, her most rewarding accomplishment there involved teaching the girls of a local community organization (Girls Inc.) how to build a group project out of steel. She has also participated in several large-scale projects that require working with a team of creative people who combine their various skills to achieve a common goal. For Hilary, being a part of the collaborative process as it unfolds is the most gratifying part of building these large sculptural installations. Her interaction and work with these communities has assisted in shaping her individual artistic style.

The immersion of her art into custom architectural metal work has forged an emphasis on the quality and function of unique and lasting designs. Her creative spark lights the way for a variety of design concepts to accompany residential and commercial locations. Ore Design welcomes custom commission work. Please refer to the contact page.