John T. Unger StudioJohn T. Unger Studio Artist: John T. Unger
Recycled Steel Firebowls
I make sculpture from scrap industrial steel, cutting by hand with a plasma torch at 45,000° Farenheit. That’s 4.5 times as hot as the surface of the Sun or the Earth’s core.
My Sculptural Firebowls are intended to have an immediate visual appeal as well as providing a story, meaning, and social interaction. They offer an opportunity to gaze into the fire and connect with the human questions that have enticed every imagination since we first gathered around a captive flame over a million years ago.
As Gabriel Guzman writes in The Daily Book of Art:
Who would have thought that a bowl of fire could be so beautiful? Hand-cut out of recycled steel, these bowls combine sculpture and function to create unique works of art with industrial flair that provide warmth and an exciting centerpiece for events. When in use, the flame-like edges of these bowls cast mesmerizing shadows that dance across the ground, acting as part of the art.
I created the first Great Bowl O’ Fire on May 30, 2005. I had no idea at the time that it would become the work I was most known for. In the seven years since I created the first Great Bowl O’ Fire, my art has set the world aflame— I’ve shipped over a thousand Sculptural Firebowls to all 50 states and 12 countries. Check the Locations map to see how the blaze has spread, including firebowls you can visit such as SouthEast Porch in Bryant Park, Sandals, Montego Bay, and the Sheraton Waikiki’s Rumfire bar.
My Sculptural Firebowls have been widely covered in books, magazines, newspapers, radio and television. HGTV and DIY Network frequently feature my work on their shows and I’ve been featured in both the Business and Home sections of the New York Times.