People never know where they’ll end up in their golden years — some will enjoy retirement with family, others will open a small business and a few will become renowned artists.
Dan Droz is a Point Breeze-based sculptor recognized for his methods and techniques with metal, glass and wire mesh. His work has been featured in exhibitions across Pennsylvania and in California. And now, a new book documents his art.
Not bad for a 72-year-old who has been professionally sculpting for only three years.
With Droz’s work rapidly gaining in popularity, writers Peter Frank and Virginia Broersma created “Behind the Fold,” a coffee table book of the artist’s creations that sells on Amazon for $39.99.
Droz says that not only does the book illustrate the “illusion” he puts into his pieces, but it also shows how much he has improved over the past three years.
“It’s been a lifelong interest of mine to push technologies to do things that are out of the ordinary,” says Droz. “I think I want to create a little bit of mystery in my work because there’s a metaphor there that we walk around in life thinking we’re seeing everything and thinking that what we’re seeing is actually real.”
Before starting his new career as a sculptor, Droz had a design and marketing firm and taught design courses at Carnegie Mellon University. Additionally, he worked as a magician in college, an experience that he drew inspiration from in his career change.
It was near his 69th birthday when Droz decided to focus on his sculpting skills, with the intent of installing more work in public areas that engage people.
Droz relies on not only his decades of being a designer but his childhood in the Steel City as the son of a welder.
He has invented a method of glass forming that allows the material to be shaped while in a kiln, without people having to interfere. Droz has also designed methods for transforming large metal sheets into complex shapes using a technique that folds the metal like paper.
“The techniques that I’ve used in making glass pieces are something that I worked on at the Pittsburgh Glass Center,” he says. “So, when someone sees one of these pieces, they are puzzled by how that piece was actually made.”
Droz acknowledges that he’s a late bloomer with his artistic endeavors but he has a bold vision for his creative future.
“I’m 73 years old, so I’m very aware of my own limited time,” says Droz. “ What I’m hoping is that I will be able to work on a much larger scale with architects and developers to create a sculpture in architectural or public settings.”