Heavy metal

October 22, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Scott Cawood has often been asked by women if they could wear the steel bras, high-heeled shoes or bodices he has created.

It just wouldn't be practical since the steel is rigid, heavy and has sharp edges, he explains.

Cawood started creating metal sculptures and functional pieces such as intricately designed coffee tables after building metal armatures and mounts for art displays in the early 1980s.

Before that he put his welding skills to work repairing helicopters for the U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans, where he was stationed as a search-and-rescue helicopter flight engineer.

To create his sculptures, he fishes for material at junkyards or uses scraps people bring him. Samples of his work can be seen at


Life as an artist has had its ups and downs.

"One day it's great, the next day it's terrible," says Cawood, 52, who lives modestly in a duplex in the Sharpsburg area.

Atop a hill behind the duplex he's lived in for 25 years sits a workshop that he built. It overlooks a beautiful garden he tends.

Cawood hasn't had a local exhibit recently, but his creations have been around the Tri-State area.

He designed the set for "Homeland Security" at 2004's Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and a 25-foot-tall spire he designed stands in Baker Park in Frederick, Md. The spire won an invitational challenge to create artwork that represents the city's diversity.

The Middletown (Md.) High School graduate has shown his work in Miami, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

And he's about to open a show at Treasure Island Resort & Casino's Tangerine Lounge in Las Vegas. On Nov. 11, the resort casino also will unveil a high-end motorcycle created by Metropolitan Choppers and Cawood.

Cawood spent six months adding an elaborate design of a siren to the chopper. Her hair flows back over the gas tank with the bodice covering the front of the chopper's down tubes. Two blue halogen lights peer out of her eyes to serve as headlights, and waves adorn the front and rear fenders.

Cawood promised to share a picture of the chopper with readers after it's unveiled.

"She's energy out of water," he says.

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