I discovered sculpting at the age of 15 during a trip to visit my grandparents in Prescott, Arizona. They brought me on a tour of a local bronze foundry, where I was able to watch the process of bringing a bronze sculpture to life. I immediately felt drawn to the art form and wanted to try my luck at my own creation. After a year, I created my first piece – using only a fork and knife – to sculpt a piece inspired by the men and women of 9/11 and their courage on that day. Fifteen years later, I know that I have found my true passion and my life’s work in creating bronze sculptures.
During the early years of my professional career, I knew that I wanted to sculpt first responders. This was a personal passion of mine, being that I began working in the fire service when I was still in high school, where I started as a student firefighter, and then moved to a volunteer Fire Academy. Since graduation, I have worked for numerous departments, and have currently been a firefighter with my current organization for 8 years. Because of this passion for the fire service, I was commissioned to sculpt my first life size piece for the Windsor-Severance Fire Department entitled “Follow Your Heart.” This sculpture allowed me to showcase my work and my passion for Emergency Services.
I am very fortunate to be able to combine my two very different passions for firefighting and art into a medium that allows me to not only serve my community, but reach people all over the country with my sculptures. I have had the opportunity to create meaningful monuments for organizations and groups across the United States. Each of my sculptures tells a unique story about emergency services, the people who serve, and the communities they impact. I love what I do, because I’m lucky enough to create a genuine connection with each client I work with while we bring their memories, emotions, and dreams to life.
“Bronze captures moments for lifetimes to come. The details I add to my work serve as a history of the moment, furthering the legacy of the subjects they represent. Art is in my blood, and the clay has shaped me as much as I have shaped it.” – Austin Weishel