So Terry, you used to work for Nucor Steel, right? What did you do for them?
Yes, I helped build part of Nucor for over 4 years. After leaving Nucor I went to work for Houston Light and Power, I served as an operator for 7 1/2 years. Then I worked for myself catching exotic deer for 3 years. After an unfortunate accident where I hurt my ankle I started my Antique Shop. My wife and I had it for over 20 years before we closed it last December and started making Sculptures full time.
How did you start using metal as an art form? Was it a hobby at first?
In 2005 I started making small cars and trucks in between customers eventually people started asking for other things.
Are you primarily a metal/welding artist or do you also do casting or work with other mediums besides metal?
Yes I am primarily a metal /welding Artist. I also like to incorporate wood glass or anything else that look neat, since most of my sculpture come from repurposed found objects.
You use a lot of found objects in the pieces for Lazy Dog. Do you collect found objects in advance or do you wait for the piece to be commissioned first?
My family and all my friends look for stuff for my sculptures everyday. I like to stock pile things as I can find them.
Where do you look for the treasures and antiques you use in your work (like the horse head pieces)?
I go to antique shops, flea markets, old farms, pawn shops, garage sales, e-bay, and people bring me all kinds of treasures that they find.
I read that you help the police station confiscate weapons and incorporate them in to your pieces (which is so awesome)--- how did this relationship with the police station come about?
I have helped several police and sheriff's departments around Texas. it started with our local sheriff Mike Price seeing one of sculptures with some old guns in it. Mr. Price came up with the idea of making a sculpture out of confiscated guns and weapons. I was on board for taking something that was once used for bad and making it into a thing of beauty.
When did you first get contacted by Lazy Dog?
I was first contacted in 2011 by Mr. Simms. I was very excited for the Lazy Dog to be interested in my sculptures.
How long does it take to create one of the Lazy Dog Sculptures?
When I 1st started my sculptures it would take a month or two to finish one, now with many years of practice I can make one in 3 to 10 days if everything goes as planned.
Where do you seek inspiration for your work?
My entire life we have raised all kinds of animals and birds. Right now we have 8 dogs about 60 exotic deer, goats, sheep, cows, chickens, pheasants, crown cranes, parakeets, a cockatoo, and a tortoise. I love wildlife and that is why I enjoy making sculptures that mimic wildlife in some kind of way. I am also trying my hand at abstract sculptures as well, when building these it is a bit harder to see the end result, but I am pleased with how they turn out.
Do you draw out your designs first? What is your process before starting to weld the metal?
Sometimes I sketch out my sculptures and sometimes I just get started on it and let it happen.
Do you see a relationship between nature and your work?
Yes I see a relationship between my art and nature. Wildlife and nature is what I know and love, so it's easy to work with what you know.
Do you have a favorite commissioned piece?
My favorite commissioned piece would be hard to pick. I think that it would be a toss up between a Buffalo silhouette, the Longview Veterans Park MIA POW Monument sculpture, or the 1st Great Dane I made for The Lazy Dog.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working in the workshop?
When not at work I like riding around with my family & grandchildren in the deer pasture, or sitting in the chicken yard just enjoying farm life.
Do you cook? What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Yes I can cook. My favorite thing to cook is steaks on the grill.
How would you describe Texas to someone from out of state?
Texas is a huge place with a lot of hidden treasures. There are many things to discover in our great state.
What are you currently working on?
I am now working on a sculpture of a pony for The James Surls Sculpture Garden and the next set of sculptures for The Lazy Dog Café in Downey California.
Are you a dog person?
Yes we are dog people. We have 8 and they are like our children.
Terry Jones and his wife Carla live in Jewett Texas. Check out more of his work here.