ABOUT DAN TOONEI enjoy taking the normally rigid and structural steel and turning it into smooth unrestrained flowing lines, shapes, and forms. Many of my pieces have begun with a found object or a fall off piece from another project. Something about the shape and form will attract me and from there, I begin to create. As I work with the patinas, I am always amazed at the individual personality that comes out in each piece of steel. The rusted steel alongside stainless steel or aluminum, compliment each other and together they create a pleasing contrast of color, form, and texture.“
Dan was raised on a farm in Spokane, Washington. It was there he developed a deep love and appreciation for the intricacies of nature. Even at a young age he began to notice and sketch the beauty around him.
He continued to enjoy sketching and developing his skills in art classes in high school. He studied commercial art at Spokane Falls Community College. As an assignment in one course, he built a kinetic sculpture and has been fascinated with sculptures ever since.
In 1976 he took a job where he was trained to weld stainless steel. As his skills increased, so did his fascination and appreciation for steel. Though most of his time was spent working with food processing equipment, he still had a passion for art and was continually sketching ideas for sculptures. He particularly enjoys the challenge of creating sculptures using scrap, found items, and recycled materials.
“The most rewarding part for me is taking the normally rigid and structural steel and turning it into smooth unrestrained flowing lines, shapes and forms.
In 2005, he was commissioned to build a six foot, ideal cut diamond out of mirror finish stainless steel. It is mounted in pillars of stone in front of Jewelry Design Center in Spokane, Washington
Since that time, Dan has continued to follow his passion for building metal sculpture. To Dan, this is like a second childhood. He feels very blessed to be able to share his excitement and passion for art and sculpture.