Sculptures in Limestone and Metal

People / Places / Products / March 19, 2012

Alabama Sculptor DeeDee Morrison’s studio is nestled in a limestone quarry.

An active one.

“It’s an old Republic Steel Plant that closed down, but it’s got wonderful buildings,” she says.  “Now it’s an operable quarry for road-grade material.”

For an artist, that can lead to some interesting moments. 

“When they blast, some of the stone comes over here,” she says.  “Usually, it crumbles the side of the quarry wall, but sometimes it throws off huge boulders that weigh three- to five-thousand pounds.”

Not many people take much interest in the rocks, but she does.  She’s begun to collect the ones pierced by holes, creating a series of sculptures called “Charms” out of them.  The limestone blocks wrapped in aluminum are now a hot commodity. 

Most of her work, though, is in different kinds of metal, including Corten steel and quarter-inch aluminum.  The challenge lies in how to introduce light to the material.  “The metal is just not very forgiving, with a flat surface to work on, and no light can come through,” she says.  “There’s always a fabrication, with laser cutting or water jet cutting that allows me to cut patterns onto an armature.”

It’s an industrial process of creation, but she believes she’s introducing a feminine influence to a masculine material.  “It creates an interesting balance,” she says.  “It’s hard to move a 5,000-pound rock, and dangle those charms.”

Her work could be read as a metaphor for the de-industrialization of the nation, and as an artistic commentary as well.

“The steel mill shut down and we had to innovate,” she says.  “As an artist I’m always trying to say something about the things we’re attached to and bound to, responsibly and irresponsibly.”

And she’s succeeding.

View Images:


Tags: ,



Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




Previous Post

A Harlequin Pattern for an Artist Square

Next Post

Elizabeth Turk's Marble Ribbons





You might also like



3 Comments

on March 27, 2012

excellent article – thanks for posting!

on March 27, 2012

great article – thanks!

on March 27, 2012

interesting – thanks for posting!



Leave a Reply


More Story

A Harlequin Pattern for an Artist Square

Back behind Foster + Partner’s Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas lies a quiet, lush...

March 16, 2012