Dave Dunn repurposes tools of industry such as bike gear mechanisms or auto parts to use in his “sea creature” sculpture series to symbolize the constant movement and change of the sea, the ebb and flow of the tides, and the sea creatures within.

He constructs imaginative primordial creatures out of anything that lands at his feet and fingertips…sometimes scrap metal, bicycle chains, nuts and bolts. Dave shuffles together unsuspecting material to breathe whimsical delight into his imagined creatures.

His “tool critters” series brings life to otherwise inanimate tools, such as the wrench grasshopper, while the “Kings of the sea” series reflects the danger and wonder from those who rule the depths of the sea bottom.

Dave spent late summers and holidays of his childhood on a creek flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, in coastal Maryland. He also spent formative years living in Paris, France, the son of an American diplomat, where he was surrounded by art. Later he has lived both in Washington DC and Charleston South Carolina.

It’s no surprise that Dunn’s creatures have a dramatic flair. Even as a child living on the Bay, he would take driftwood and found objects often deposited by the high tides and repurpose them into art objects while daydreaming about what lurked beneath the waves. The Bay provided an interesting and bountiful source for found materials, which would later become the inspiration for a number of his current works.

Dave graduated from the College of Charleston, in Charleston, South Carolina, where he majored in theater and where his interest included prop design and fabrication. There he studied studio art and matured his interest in metal sculpture. His post-graduate work in metal fabrication and welding sealed the deal, and the creatures have been crawling, slithering and swimming out of his Maryland studio ever since.

His most recent body of work, “Creatures of the Deep”, was exhibited in the Zabar Gallery at the highly regarded Studios of Key West in January, 2021. These sculptures have him repurposing hard metal castoffs into imaginative representations of the beings and beasts who rule the ocean depths. Characterized by spiked steel edges and imbued with a dose of mid-century B-movie curiosity, these creatures serve as a reflection of the mysterious and fantastical life forms that may lurk in the deepest part of the sea.

Dave returned to the Chesapeake Bay and established the “Dunn in Metal” Studio overlooking its marshes and creeks in 2018. Dave now has expanded and has a larger “Dunn in Metal” Studio in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland.

Dave Dunn’s work is represented in private collections in the Chesapeake Bay Area, Washington DC, Lexington KY, Austin TX, the Hunt Country of Virginia, Shelter Island NY, New York City NY, Key West FL, LA in California, Paris France, Normandy France, and Asheville NC .

“The Driftar” Dunn 2002 First work