David Hammock is an ironworker from Arab, Alabama who has combined his skills with whimsical humor to create unique sculptures, one of which stands guard outside Mayor Tommy Battle’s office at City Hall.
Hammock will be at the Artists’ Marketplace at Panoply – look for Clucked Up Metal Art — at which he’s been a participant for two decades. Hammock shares with City Blog his appreciation for Panoply – and drops the name of a famous client.
I think my first Panoply might have been 1997, and I’ve done it every year since. The Huntsville arts community has been very, very good to me. I’ve gotten numerous commissions and all kinds of cool work by my being there.
I do wrought-iron work – custom handrails, gates, things like that – for a living. I’ve been a welder by trade and I taught myself traditional blacksmithing, and I’ve always incorporated the two.
Panoply is right there at the top … it’s first-class.”
I do a lot of crazy artwork, one-of-a-kind things. I like to do humorous stuff. I’ll do some small projects all the way up to public commissions. Just a little bit of everything.
I’ll have a few Huntsville-related things at my booth at Panoply this year. I have a few rockets in the works and a couple of musical things. And I’ve been doing my crazy birds. That’s what a lot of people know me from, my metal chickens that are functional. They can hold beer cans and wine glasses, things like that.
I got a good compliment one year. Mayor Battle bought one of my pieces. I made a big metal guy playing a trumpet. It was one of the first musical instrument players I made. I just learned it’s still at City Hall, in the lobby of the Mayor’s office.
A special sculpture
Someone else I met through Panoply had some of my work and he liked it. He asked me to do a commission for Billy Bob Thornton, the actor and musician. I made a crazy guitar sculpture that had a lot of car parts and car-related items with it. When he brought his band to Huntsville for an appearance, I got to meet him and present it to him.
Panoply is huge exposure opportunity. Y get to meet a wide variety of people. I’ve had people who were coming to Panoply just for the music, but they came through and purchased some art from me.
It’s a success because it’s such a variety. A lot of festivals I go to, it’s just art, no music. With Panoply, you see the whole scope of everybody in North Alabama. It never seems to get old. It’s one of the best art shows I do all year and when I travel, I recommend to other artists to apply.
Panoply is right there at the top as far as the location, the volunteers and the crowd. Everybody is so nice. People are really art-receptive. The way Arts Huntsville puts this festival together, it’s truly first class.