Joel Washing

Joel Washing


March 15, 2019


Welded Work


Tell us more about some of your past projects?

I was a filmmaker for about 15 years. In 2008, I made a documentary about the oldest sister cities in the world. The film compares and contrasts Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain through interviews with artists from both cities. 

What current projects are you working on?

Now, my creative pursuits have shifted to sculpture. In 2012, I began learning to weld and build sculpture. I am currently working on two large outdoor steel sculptures. 

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?

There is an abundance of steel related industry and supply in Northwest Ohio. This makes it easy for me source the steel I need to build projects. This area is also at the center of a hub for outdoor sculpture shows. We’re within a few hours of dozens of sculpture venues in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

Also in abundance in Northwest Ohio is the talent of the creative. There are some many.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

Years ago I was part of the initial planning and execution of Artomatic419!. It was a biennial non-juried art show that was put on and staffed by local artists. I participated as an artist. Eventually, I chaired the committee. I am grateful that I had a chance to interact with hundreds of local artists who had the common goal of building community and sharing art. Artomatic419! was a wonderful feel good love fest for the Toledo arts. I’m proud to have been a part of that.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

I’m most inspired by nature, architecture, and geometrical shapes and patterns

Tell us about your background.

Around 1998, I went to film school at the University of Toledo and left before I received a degree. I had decided it was time to start making films. In 2012, I took a series of sculptural welding classes at the Toledo Museum of Art. The museum classes inspired me to learn more about welding. One thing led to another and I earned an associates degree in welding from Owens Community College in 2015.

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

Ars longa, vita brevis. We have very little time in our short lives to learn a craft and perfect it. 

Favorite place for local culture?

Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo’s “best kept secret” is . . .

Gibsonburg, Ohio. There is an excellent sculpture park in Gibsonburg and it’s just 20 minutes from downtown Toledo. Every year for the past 15 years a new selection of sculptures are curated and displayed.

My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . . 

Farnsworth and Sidecut Metroparks

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . . 

At home. I’m kind of a hermit.

Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

I’d love to collaborate is Albert Paley. He is a great sculptor who produces very elaborate and large scale sculptures. You can find examples of his work at The University of Toledo and at The Toledo Museum of Art.

Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.

I am constantly finding inspiring photos from amazing artists, welders, and makers on Instagram.

3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

Thirsty for knowledge.

Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

Nirvana - Unplugged
Paul Simon - Graceland
Prince - Around the World in a Day
Traveling - Wilburys Vol. 1
Kraftwerk - The Mix

What’s the last dream you recall having?

No idea. Dreams disappear from my memory almost immediately.

The last lyric that moved me was . . .

“But isn’t she lovely, made from love” Stevie Wonder melts my heart.

The best gift I’ve ever received was . . .

My wife’s hand in marriage. Tina is my best friend and I love her tremendously.

I want my last meal to be _______________.



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