Tommy Nienaber


Tommy Nienaber
Tommy Nienaber discovered his talent for sculpting by accident and fate after a house fire in 1998 left much of his arms, neck and back with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Months later, after skin graft and reconstructive surgery, surgeons warned of the possibility of permanent loss of movement in his arms, hands, and fingers, despite hours of grueling therapy every day. He was encouraged to find a hobby that was arm, hand, and finger intensive in addition to his therapy. Having no prior skills in art, Tommy began carving wood using primitive methods and tools such as dull chisels and a jigsaw. In a matter of weeks, he was spending up to ten hours a day at his new found passion and gaining more movement and strength in his hands every day. Today, Tommy has complete movement in his arm, hands and fingers and has pieced together an indoor/outdoor studio sufficient for massive creation, production and dwelling. The mediums have changed over time, but the passion has grown and continues to flourish. Each finished work has a story, from conception to completion; likewise every piece has been like a journal entry in his recovery. Each finished sculpture has become the inspiration to create the next one; there is a definite evolution in his work. Artist Statement "My artistic process is an organic evolution of trial and error, mixed with a bit of obsession and served up hot with tribal beats being played ever-so-nicely in the background. Within the past few years, I have branched out to stone sculpture, bronze casting and experimental mixed media works. I love the experimental aspect of creating and learning from both the good, the 'bad' and the unexpected results of the process." - tommy,h_400,c_fill/hmqfh2o8ladofmgtyfh3.jpg