Sooke Fine Arts
Dragon roars at Fine Arts
Wark, Sooke News Mirror
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Dragon sculpture captures attention and prizes at Sooke Fine Arts
Langford blacksmith Daniel Orton entered
Sooke Fine Arts 2004 for a variety of reasons: to have his work viewed
by the general public, because of prompting from fellow artists and to
see how he measured up to others.
Once he decided to enter, the
26-year-old wanted to attract some attention.
"I wanted something to appeal to the
kids as well as the majority of the people. ... I wanted to win an
award," he said with a smile.
Orton's Dragon certainly did that. The
steel 3-D sculpture earned him the most popular in show award,
presented by Village Food Markets, and the children's choice,
presented by Dumont Tire. Both awards were voted on by patrons of the
While Orton was shooting for a prize, he
was shocked by the awards.
"I'm surprised I got anything because
there are so many good pieces of work here," Orton said.
His work was certainly the talk of the show.
Among those impressed was Jason Dumont,
who presented the children's choice award. The mechanic noted the
quality of Orton's craftsmanship and the way he worked with the steel.
After Orton decided to make something
specifically for the 18th annual show, the idea of a dragon came to
mind as dinosaurs are now popular. He made charcoal sketches of the
monster's head. After that he dove into the process of creating the
creature, which took about 250 hours.
"The best part of the process is making
it," he said. "It is a creative process where you have to go with the
flow to get it done in time."
Dragon weighs around 300 pounds and stands about 6-and-a-half-feet
high. The dragon is made mostly of forged steel pipe and plate steel.
The Dragon is Orton's first major work.
Lately, he has been able to make a living doing custom work for
people. His pieces have included candleholders, tables, chairs and
even dolphin sculptures for people's gardens. Orton has also worked
away for about four years on a chainmail vest for himself.
Orton became interested in metalwork
while attending Belmont secondary school. He remembers taking more art
and metalwork courses than most. He continued to pursue the work after
school with the Vancouver Island Blacksmith Association. The group has
continued to encourage him and allowed him to use their shops over the
© Copyright 2004 Sooke News Mirror
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