The critters in my garden aren’t made of metal, don’t stand perfectly still, and they certainly don’t have a four-foot wing spans.
Jerry Brooks’ critters do.
In his garden, flowers don’t grow; they rust. Birds don’t cheep — if anything, they squeak as the wind brushes past. His garden is frozen in time, and all because of a welding torch.
A Metal Menagerie
Blossoms, birds and bugs for the ages
by Pamela Kleibrink Thompson
On a bluff overlooking a tree-studded golf course in Wilder, Idaho, is a rough corrugated work shed where scrap iron and outdated tools are reshaped, welded and transformed into timeless works of art. The artist whose imagination resuscitates the rusty, beautifies the broken and distinguishes the discarded is sculptor Jerry Brooks.
In Brooks’ world, a sunflower blooms eternally with metal petals and leaves welded on wiry stems. A quartet of birds reveals personalities reminiscent of animated cartoons and looks ready to take flight or do the chicken dance. A shovel blade forms the body of a rara avis. Teeth from two rakes become outstretched wings. A giant dragonfly with wings of burnished copper-colored metal soars into the sky.
Dragonflies are not an uncommon sight at Boise’s Parkcenter Pond, but Brooks’ 40-pound metal behemoth that welcomes patrons to the restaurant Barbacoa always draws attention.
“When I see a piece of rusted metal or parts of machinery that have been bent and worn by time and the elements, I sometimes see a picture in my mind of what they could become—how they could become pieces of art,” Brooks says.