Most of us have, at one time or another, looked at a cloud or a piece of driftwood and seen a flower or a fish or a face. That’s what Page Winter of Zacata does, only he sees what bits and pieces of scrap metal could become, and turns them into amazing whimsical sculptures.
Winter will display some of the fanciful art pieces that come into being under his creative eye and hand at this month’s Westmoreland County Museum Art and Wine show. It began June 11.
His ample scrap metal resources include items he brought back with him from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (such as 200-year-old ship chain links dredged from the harbor there) where he lived for about 50 years. Born in Maryland, he graduated from Northwestern High School in 1953, then moved to St. Thomas because his father’s job took the family there. When his parents moved back to the States two years later, he stayed, gaining skills that led to running his own welding and fabrication business for 40 years. In fact, he still uses the little Miller Thunderbolt electric welder he had in St. Thomas. While he did mostly repair work, he said producing sculptures became about a third of his business after he tried his hand “at fabricating a small metal sculpture that soon sold. I had been making things, mostly out of wood, from about the age of 5 when I was allowed to start using tools,” he said with a grin. “Then when I was 16, someone gave me a welder, which answered the question for me of how things could be connected more easily and permanently.”