Metal artwork creates success for South Carolina tool salesman

December 29, 2011 by  

By day a tool salesman at Trado Supplies in Anderson, South Carolina, Ron King spends his nights and free time working at his shop making a variety of artistic creations. The materials for his artwork are primarily scraps of metal from such items as gun barrels, water pipes, scuba tanks and fuel tanks but sometimes he uses unusual pieces like old brushes and wagon wheels.

The Anderson County Public Library has featured his work in their South Carolina Room and the Belton Center for the Arts also recently had a show his work. Some of his work is also on display in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Poster printing and flyer printing have been used by these organizations to make the public aware of King’s work and to attract them to the exhibits. A recent article profiling King in the South Carolina Farmer magazine, which is a publication for the state’s agricultural community, has also contributed to his fame in the region and throughout the state.

King has always had an interest in anything mechanical. He discovered his talent with tools while working at the Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville and started making parts for Air Force One and subway cars for the Washington, D.C. Metro. He got into metal art work in 1988, starting with small lawn ornaments and eventually working up to three-dimensional metallic Palmetto trees. He brought it to the Belton Center for the Arts and the tree was sold within two days. The artistic community encouraged him to create more pieces and in the 13 years since then has made thousands of those Palmetto trees, hummingbirds, flying pelicans, buffaloes and metal horses, all sold and displayed locally as well as in other parts of the country.