Customer Spotlight – Sculpture by Bruce A. Niemi
Bruce Niemi has been creating art his entire life and is a second-generation sculptor. He remembers watching his dad work with a welding torch as early as age 5, and by age 12 he began learning the trade himself. His catalog of work includes 56 permanent displays throughout the United States and Europe.
Niemi’s sculptures range from tabletop to large-scale public works. He works mostly with stainless-steel and silicon bronze. His pieces can measure up to 20 feet tall and sometimes nearly as wide, and he utilizes ABATRON’s epoxy adhesives to help create his sculptures. Many of his pieces draw inspiration from Niemi’s faith, with noticeable themes that center on energy, passion, and connectedness. His current project is no different.
Niemi has been commissioned to create a sculpture named “Glory”, for Western Theological Seminary which is located in Holland, Michigan. The piece focuses on the symbolism of the number seven from the Bible. Seven is often said to represent completion and perfection. Glory effortlessly weaves four number sevens together, three of which represent the Holy Trinity, with the fourth incorporating the human element, or the soul. With the four elements intertwined, the sculpture seems to “rise up” and become more than the sum of its parts.
In creating this piece, Niemi utilizes a production technique that has become a staple in his large-form stainless steel sculptures. He adheres a tight web of honeycombed cardboard to the inside of a stainless-steel panel using Aboweld 55-22. He then sandwiches a second piece of stainless on the other side, using Aboweld 55-22 once again. This “sandwich” is then tightly clamped and the epoxy cures prior to adding the finishing metal pieces. By doing this, Niemi adds significant strength and durability to his sculptures without adding a significant amount of weight.
This technique requires an adhesive that bonds to both the stainless-steel surface and the specialty honeycomb cardboard. It also must withstand the short-term bursts of heat produced by a welding torch. The workability, tenacious adhesion to multiple substrates, and ample working time of Aboweld 55-22 meets these requirements and make it ideal for this process.
Upon completion, Glory will measure 15 feet tall from its base and over 7 feet wide. It’s scheduled to be finished, delivered and installed sometime in August of 2021.
Bruce Niemi has been welding and creating sculptures for 47 years. To see additional examples of his creations, please visit https://www.bruceniemi.com/.