A heart of steel
CONOWINGO — Chuck Jamack is an artist, but perhaps not in the way that most people traditionally think of an artist, for he is an artist of steel and fire.
He welds metal pieces together to create sculptures and yard and home decorations. Working out of his home in Conowingo, Jamack has a true passion for his work.
“I’ve been doing it for years, making stuff out of metal,” he said. “I’ve been a welder since I was 20 so I’ve always been artistic through other things, and metalwork just fell into place. I just enjoyed doing it and people like what I do.”
Jamack took his love of art (in the past he loved to draw, but painting wasn’t his forte) and transferred it into something he already had practical skills in. While he was able to sell a few works decades ago, it really wasn’t until recently that Jamack had the push he needed to take his art to the next level.
“I made a waterfall for my wife, and after that, she’s encouraged me to start making other things,” he recalled.
It’s that exact waterfall that’s garnered him some attention as of late. A beautiful and hypnotic cascade of water over a sheet of glass onto rocks below framed by rustic metal, it’s a piece that could be stared at for hours. After displaying it at the Havre de Grace art show, Jamack received orders for new projects.
But there’s a give and take for Jamack when making these pieces.
“It’s trial and error really,” he said. “If I’m making something and it’s ending up that I’m not liking it, I’ll have to redo it. Figuring out how to build the waterfall came easily, but I also built a lighthouse which was a bit more difficult since I had to get the right dimensions.”
Jamack seems to be doing well right now, with more and more taking notice of his skills, although he doesn’t want to dive too deep into these projects just yet.
“I don’t want to get too crazy right now, but once I retire I hope to support myself,” he said, “and of course I’d like to do more projects.”
But perhaps beyond making things for money and business, Jamack sees the true value of his work.
“It’s the enjoyment that people get from what I make,” he said. “The waterfall at the art show ... just watching the people enjoy that thing was everything in the world to me. I don’t have to sell anything just for that moment of time.”
The miniature lighthouse and welded waterfall, two of Chuck Jamack’s metal creations, sit outside his home in Conowingo.
Sculptor Chuck Jamack, of Conowingo, stands with his welded waterfall and lighthouse creations.