Will Wagenaar lives in Port Richey, Florida with his cat, Lyle. He sculpts and when he isn’t sculpting, he’s thinking about sculpting and looking for parts. Will has been a professional artist since 1972 and also has an interior design degree. He once ran a mural painting business and later opened a storefront in Miami Beach where he sold his work – taking found materials and creating usable objects and fine art. His work is at least 80% recycled materials. Check out his shop!
A few of his sculptures can be found at EcoArt LA gallery right now (not sure how long they’ll be there).
How long have you been making sculpture?
Since high school.
What are the materials needed to make them?
Recycled is the most important quality. Other than that: wood, metal, glass, ceramic. Mostly discarded household and garage items. I prefer to work with materials that show their age.
Where do you get your materials?
I have been to 4 flea markets in the last 3 days. Also, thrift stores and yard sales, estate sales. Occasionally, I am able to liberate trash from the streets.
Can you tell us a little of your process?
I let the material speak for itself. Sometimes my usage is obvious. If I am really curious about something, then there is usually a reason. I keep playing with it until an idea strikes. Sometimes it is about the relationship of one or more pieces, the shapes they create together.
How long does it take to complete a sculpture?
Once I have an idea in mind, I work quickly doing all the difficult things first. Then I slow it down a bit for the final effects and finishes.
Have you had a favorite piece?
I have had several favorites. It is such a thrill to sell a piece that is a favorite because those are the most validating sales.
Do you do other kinds of crafts?
I was a mural artist and did architectural finishes for almost 30 years. My work is in many fine residences in several states and corporate locations as well.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
More of this, I love this.
Have any advice for people trying to start their own handcrafting business?
Just do it. There is every good reason to try. Just do every task to the best of your ability. People will find you.