Growing up in Oldenburg, IN., Chaz was always considered a bit of a tinker. Always taking things apart or creating something new from old items, he would try to improve upon the looks or the function of an item.
The first mentor in Chaz’s creative life was his Scout leader, Joe Geier. Joe was an extremely talented wood carver and inspired him to create. At a young age, he worked with wood but was much more drawn to metal once he got into high school.
After high school Chaz enlisted into the Navy. He was trained as an electronics technician. Being stationed in Southern California he got to see the world from a more diversified aesthetic viewpoint.
After the service, Chaz wanted to do something that was more creative and physical. With a real interest in metals, he decided to work with them and went to Southeastern Indiana Vocational School to learn welding. It was the turning point. He then enrolled in IVTECH State College where he studied welding technology. The focus of his studies was the fabrication of metals for functional as well as aesthetic purposes. He graduated with honors making the Dean’s list every quarter.
Being a creative person and now having the knowledge and abilities, automotive salvage yards became as interesting as museums – even more so, in some cases, because of the creative possibilities and challenges. Creating something of beauty from something raw is a major driving force.
In 1986 Chaz started Precision Welding and Fabrication. It was a fabrication company that served regional industry. Large projects were taken on by him and as many as 9 employees. The business thrived and the need to create was met, but art and aesthetic metal work were still his passion but had to be done after hours.
In 2000 he retired from Precision to follow his artistic dream and created Aesthetic Metal Studio. Utilizing his original shop and equipment, he has a 3000 square foot studio where he is a full time Metal Sculptor/Artist Blacksmith.
Chaz works in bronze, copper, steel and stainless steel to create abstract and organic fountains, sculpture and architectural elements.
Other notable endeavors include teaching metal sculpture and stained glass to Batesville Middle School 8th Graders and High School art students since 1994.
He is also a contributing member to the Indiana Blacksmith Association where he attends seminars and conferences to further his Blacksmithing knowledge. He also hosts an annual state meeting at his studio.
He is also a regular contributor to the Rural Alliance for the Arts where his art is highly prized at their art auction fundraiser.
Check out Chaz’s underground dome-home on the Home and Garden’s TV Show below