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Artistic Expression in a Steel Studio

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Bobby Furst is not one to shy away from making a statement; in fact, he creates politically and socially-inspired assemblage art pieces from found and acquired objects to encourage dialogue among the masses. When it came time to relocate his studio space and workshop from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Calif. to the foothills of the Mohave desert in Joshua Tree, Calif., he chose to build a compound of three buildings with steel.

“I like the industrial look of them, and I also love their shape,” says Furst, referring to the crescent moon contours of the buildings. “I met with some local artists who own SteelMaster buildings before I decided to buy from the company, and I knew then it was what I wanted.”

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While initially Furst—who is a contractor by trade—planned on buying only one building in which to pursue his artistic endeavors and create a living space with a bathroom and kitchen, he quickly realized he needed to add another to use solely as a workshop due to an overabundance of sawdust that was created when he set to the task of cutting wood for his pieces. When the second building was two thirds of the way constructed, he threw a party and set the live band up in the space to perform. “The acoustics were phenomenal, so now that building is used as a performance arts space as well,” says Furst. “It was an added benefit I didn’t see coming.”

Another aspect of the buildings that surprised him was that in the 110 degree desert heat, the building remained cool to the touch on the outside and comfortably warm on the inside without the benefit of air conditioning or even a fan. He was so happy with the buildings in fact, that he decided to add a third one which is also being used as a workshop. “I have myself a little compound now, and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out—these buildings are virtually maintenance free and will outlive me, that’s for sure,” says Furst. “When I was a kid, I enjoyed playing with erector sets and putting the pieces together to build something unique every time. Putting these buildings together is very similar to that, just on a bigger scale. I am all about creating things with form and function, and SteelMaster buildings definitely fit the bill.”

– Brenda Welch
Brenda is a freelance writer and editor living in Hampton Roads, VA