Silver Oak
Barry Tinsley, Chicago, Illinois
Silver Oak, 1982
stainless steel sculpture maquette, 7 by 15 1/2 by 7 1/2 inches
model for larger work proposed for the James B. Thompson Center, Illinois Art in Architecture Program

Silver Oak 
This welded steel sculpture is about the unity of interlocking forms, according to the artist. It was inspired by the landscapes of Illinois. It hints at the arching and interwoven branches seen in oak forests at the canopy level.

This sculpture was built and installed in the Sculpture Park at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. It can be seen online at

Barry Tinsley
Berry Tinsley was born in Roanoke, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. His Master of Arts and Master of Fine Art degrees are from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. He taught at Eastern Kentucky University and at Illinois State University. He currently lives and works in Chicago. In 1979, the Illinois State Museum presented his work in a solo exhibit. His work is represented in many private and public collections.

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is available in sheets of various thickness. The artist cuts it, welds pieces to one another, then finishes the surface. Some surface treatments are etching with acids, grinding, and sanding. A final coat of clear or opaque lacquer or paint can make the surface shiny or dull. On Silver Oak, it is possible to see where the artist has scratched patterns into the steel, probably with an electric sander or grinder.