Arno Zielke

A piece of steel with a certain bend.

That could be the start of a sculpture.

For Skagit artist Arno Zielke, the scrap yard is where his sculptures often begin.


“I’ll see a piece of scrap metal and think, ‘Wow, this is an unusual shape.’ Some of the most fascinating shapes are thrown away,” said Zielke

Then he’ll combine it with other shapes, some stone and wood.

“The design challenge is to make something stand up on its own from random pieces,” he said.

Zielke has been working with scrap metal for 25 years.

Some pieces are 8 feet tall and would stand in a back yard. Others are just a few inches tall and would sit in a living room.

Zielke usually lives with his pieces for a while before selling them.

Below are images  of Arno Zielke’s  Sculptures that can be viewed at Matzke Park.

"Helios", painted steel

"Namaste", painted steel


“I want to see if their energy or calm is sustained,” he said of his abstract work.

That may go back to the sense of craftsmanship instilled in him by his father.

Zielke watched his father do hours of intricate woodworking, making parquet chess boards and jewelry boxes and small furniture in the evenings when he came home from his job as a machinist.

“What struck me was his craftsmanship. I took it a step further and developed it into art,” said Zielke, who was born in Germany and moved to the United States.

"Wing Whisper", painted steel (sold)



Zielke wants his work to have an effect in people’s lives.

“It should give you a little charge when you come home and see it,” he said. “I want people to live with the piece instead of just putting it on display.”