Block title

Work Samples

Giant Key West Rooster

15 feet tall. 7500lbs. Steel from a landfill compactor, a trenching machine, a road grader, and some tin roof.

Lucybird

One of my most recently finished works.

Rotating Stones

This 15 foot high, stone and steel sculpture slowly spins at Merryweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland.

Cateraptasaurus at Alban Tractor on Pulaski Highway

Cateraptasaurus, located at Alban Tractor Company in Rosedale, Maryland. It's thirteen and a half feet high and 12,500 lbs.

Share:

About Derek

Harford County

Derek Arnold has maintained and operated his studio in Harford County, Maryland, since graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1993. He has been working primarily in metal.  He draws inspiration from natural forms found in plants and animals, as well the mechanical nature of machines. He works to combine these different sources and create a whimsical sculpture.  

Giant Key West Chicken

I was visiting Key West and found an old landfill compactor and a trenching machine. I found out who owned them and acquired them for sculpting materials. I sent in a proposal for Sculpture Key West and was accepted. I sold my car to pay for consumables and the tireless help of a few buddies, and we constructed the rooster in six weeks. When we arrived, first, we had to build a bridge crane to lift the chicken parts. I made a deal with the local scrap metal guy and got some old crane parts that came from a navy building. Then we began the two weeks time of disassembling the old machines. Someone saw what we were doing and donated a road grader. Four more weeks of steady work on the giant rooster and it was as complete as it was going to be, there was a deadline for the opening reception, and we made it! The Giant Key West Chicken was a big success and won the Grande Esplanade Award!!
This piece was hard work and took nine hundred hours to complete. It is fitted with a dashboard and seat, hydraulic controls and cylinders. The entire body moves left and right and the beak opens and closes! This big bird now resides in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

  • Giant Key West Rooster

    15 feet tall. 7500lbs. Steel from a landfill compactor, a trenching machine, a road grader, and some tin roof.
  • One BIG chicken!

    Standing 15 feet high the completion is near.
  • The Rooster's Head

    The beak opens and closes from a control lever in the driver's cockpit!
  • Giant Key West Chicken

    Sighted from across the Ft. Zachary Taylor mote.
  • The rooster crows!

    Assembled at Ft. Zachary Taylor just in time.
  • The model.

    "Spirit', the one eyed rooster from Key West.
  • Building the bridge crane

    These parts were originally a crane that was removed from a Navy building on Stock Island. I modified the pieces to fit a chicken.
  • Landfill compactor.

    In process of disassembly.
  • Trenching machine.

    Originally owned by the Key West Aquaduct Authority, this machine provided many parts for the sculpture.
  • Hips, Legs and Feet

    A rainy morning left a huge puddle at the chicken's feet. Here you can see that the feet are made from the large landfill compactor wheels.

Stone and Steel

This sculpture consists of seven stones held together by steel. The entire piece rotates, precisely balanced. I began designing this piece thinking of a visual layout of the stones. I then designed the steel around the stones and entered information about the stones into a computer. This allowed precision dimensioning and the ability to calculate the weights of all materials used as related to the rotation. The steel was flame cut by a numerically controlled torch machine. The spinning weight of these materials is about 3000 pounds. Its motion is driven by a motor and gear reduction to achieve a range of speeds. Modified Caterpillar tractor parts are used as support columns to hold the axis of the work. The entire piece is 15 feet tall and is bolted to 8 tons of concrete.

Periodical Spaceship Cicada

This project was made during the emergence of the 17 year Periodical Cicada in 2004. There was no shortage of models for this project and I had one very willing who hung around for about a week while I studied its movement. This cicada has five hinges in each leg to achieve a range of motion similar to the insect's real anatomical range-of-motion. One difference that I made was to construct a mouth that looks more like a sharks mouth, instead of the long proboscis. I built this big bug for Merryweather Post Pavillion, where it was to hang in a tree for concert goers to enjoy.

Cateraptasaurus

The Cateraptasaurus was created for "Sculpture at Evergreen", an outdoor sculpture exhibition at The Evergreen House in Baltimore, Maryland. It was also made possible by the Alban Tractor Company who proudly displays the creature at their Pulaski Highway facility.
The Cateratasaurus weighs in at over 13,000 pounds, and stands 13 feet 4 inches high!

Vehicles

"From Bedrock to Bartertown" is built on the chassis of a 1972 V.W. Beetle. I built it in 1995 with the help of Baltimore's Festival of the Arts: Artscape.
The materials that make up the body are chunks of oak, sycamore, maple, cherry and other wood. These materials are combined with disc plow and combine parts, pieces of a chimney flue and various other scrap metal. It has safety glass and improved suspension. The back end opens up to get access to the motor.
The car is natural and organic, a mix of the past and the future. In the car's name, Bedrock refers to the past and is influenced by the Flintstones. Bartertown is inspired by the Mad Max movies.

The pedal car was made as a human powered vehicle also made possible by Baltimore's Artscape. I constructed it in 1997. It weighed in at about 700 pounds and was powered by a person, pedaling a flywheel. In turn it used the inertia from the spinning weight to engage the drive wheels. It worked pretty well as long as you weren't going up hill..

The last vehicle was my 1987 Ford Ranger. Again a project for Baltimore's Artscape, 2009. I removed everything that was not essential for vehicle to run, including all the sheet metal and all the structure above the frame. I then used an 1960's Horn/ New Idea front end loader from a tractor and some pipes that I salvaged from a job at the American Brewery. I moved the seat to the bed of the truck and also put the steering wheel in the middle. It has a summer dogsled cart for a front grill and some caterpillar tractor parts too. It became a super dangerous field runner that was loads of fun to drive.

  • From Bedrock to Bartertown

    A Volkswagen chassis under a body made of trees and farm equipment.
  • Pedal Car

    This vehicle is human powered. The operator pedals a flywheel and transfers its inertia to the drive wheels by way of clutches.
  • 87 Ford Ranger

    I had to keep the computer and most of the electrical components.
  • 87 Ford Ranger

    I moved the seat and steering wheel into the middle. Rebuilt just about everything.
  • 87 Ford Ranger

    Refashioned for Baltimore's Artscape. I wanted to remove everything that wasn't necessary for the vehicle to run, and I wanted to sit in the middle.

Various Works

Various larger works.

  • Hogfish

    This piece weighs about 500 pounds and is located in front of the Hogfish Bar and Grill in Stock Island, Florida.
  • Fish on a Bike

    Made from steel plate and horseshoes.
  • Reddy Rooster

    This fellow started with a few curved pipes that I had laying around. I skinned it with sheet metal from a 1960's Allis Chalmers corn chopper.
  • Cartoon Gears

    This piece is about 8 feet tall an is made of locust wood and steel.
  • Bull Dozer Tracks

    I welded every link together and cut the tracks to make this form. It weighs about a ton.
  • Astro Chicken

    It stands six feet high. Push down on the tail and the mouths opens and closes! Built in 2003.
  • Astro Chicken

    This work was inspired by a Rooster sculpture standing on a ball from the sixteenth century.
  • Verdantisaurus

    This piece is made mostly from John Deere tractor parts. It is about four feet tall. Built in 1997.
  • Tockle the Tweot

    Steel and wood make up this creature. Built in 1994.
  • Origami Crane

    Painted steel plate.

Various Small Sculpture

Small works, some are static and some are kinetic.

  • Permit Fish

    This piece is made of steel and is part of a water feature in a garden. It is about two and a half feet, nose to tail.
  • Hand operated fish

    This sculpture moves by turning a handle. It then turns a flywheel which actuates linkage and levers that open and close the mouth also moving the tail back and forth.
  • Wall hanging Belly Fish

    The sculpture has a belly full and still eating more!
  • Jawfish

    Push down on the tail and watch the linkage turn a disc which actuates the jaw on the fish mouth to open and close.
  • Mini Chomper

    Fabricated & modified machine parts, electrically powered, chomping machine.
  • Mini Chomper Detail

    This little chomping head has a motor which turns some gears, which rotates an inclined actuator, which pushes a rod, which actuates linkage and another set of gears, to then open and close the mouth!
  • Rooster and Hen

    This pair is about 18 inches high. They are mostly forged into shape and contain a few parts such as horseshoes and cultivator parts.
  • Ram

Serpent

This creature was one of my senior projects while attending Maryland Institue College of Art. It was originally a combination of wood and steel. A week after I graduated in 1993, I took the piece to Lenexa, Kansas for a weekend "Art in the Park". The city purchased the piece and it resides on an island in a large pond. The wood had mostly rotted away after about 15 years and it was time to rebuild. In 2009 I went to Kansas and spent about a week rebuilding the piece with all steel parts. Now it should last a long, long time.

Chocolate Moose

The Chocolate Moose was built for the Jemicy School. Originally the school had a mascot that was made from logs and had rebar antlers. They asked me to interpret the old moose and make a new one. My idea was to combine the more rudimentary design with a vision of real moose anatomy. So I thinned up the body and defined muscle sheets, bones, and combined machine parts with supposed moose perspective.

Connect with Derek

Derek's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.