A couple of years ago, I started a book about creating sculpture over the last four decades. I set out to create a book about my creative process, to learn something fresh from the writing rather than rehash well-worn stories. These writings together with 60+ photos have become “IN BETWEEN, Creativity Set Free.”
"The story of Don Freas isn’t really about woodworking [or poetry or sculpture] but about how a person can choose what he will explore and become—and then become it."
Vance Horne, Journalist
"It’s his ideas more than the sculpture or poetry. Don has so much depth; he gives you a little poem or sculpture, but I want to ask questions because I know there’s a hundred miles of outstanding stuff behind that. He is so diverse; he has so many points of view."
Dale Witherow, Artist, Educator
Early in 2020 a family offered me a handgun that had been used in a suicide. They wanted it to be destroyed. If it could be used in a piece of art, so much the better.
The challenges the offer held made me take it. Simply knowing that part of the work is a device that had a specific deadly personal use would certainly effect perceptions of the piece in a myriad of ways.
“Suicide Gun” at the top of the materials list takes over the piece before the imagination does anything with it, and before perception of any finished piece can be freely considered. Societal history and concern, preconception and judgement, along with, of course, the varieties of personal experience—all flood in to control what the viewer “sees.” All of that was on my mind as I followed intuition, through various stages, with no preconceived end result, to this finished piece.
The heat and weight of carrying this process through, buffered by long periods of patient waiting for the next step to reveal itself, has been a metamorphic process—one form under pressure becoming another—as in geology, as in a life. As I imagined what the owner of this gun and his family and friends must have gone through in life, I knew I had the title for the piece.
Collaboration came into the production of this piece when I commissioned Nathan Robles of Kennewick, Washington to produce the human figure upon which the ‘wasp nest' of the remade gun is hung. Big thanks to Nathan for his contribution. You can see more of his work online at RoblesMetalArt.com