Stephen Kishel was born in 1955 in Muncie, Indiana. Stephen grew up surrounded by his father’s fiberglass figurative (some nearly 30" tall) works of creative signage, as well as larger-than-life zoo animals and storybook creations. This heritage was rich in possibilities for Stephen, and it is no wonder his favorite preschool book was “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” later replaced by Dr. Seuss. Going with Dad to the art department was one of Stephen’s favorite pastimes, and it was on one of these outings, at age 7, that his father taught him to weld, and Stephen welded a metal deer out of bent pieces of coat hangers. This table sculpture would prove to be the first of thousands. At 17 years of age, Stephen had his first one-man sculpture show. The show was well attended and his sales allowed him to travel to Europe for six weeks. Stephen studied Natural Resources at Ball State University before moving to Columbus, Ohio to study electronic design. Three years later, Stephen and his wife Gloria moved back to Indiana with their newborn son. He then went to work for his brother in the family plastic business and in a few short years used his creativity to become the company’s primary source of new customers and new products. Stephen enjoyed the challenge of converting metal parts into molded plastic. It was not until 1998 that Stephen’s focus returned to welding sculptures. His sculptures have been selling from coast to coast, partly due to Stephen and Gloria’s relocating near Hilton Head, South Carolina and also because of the internet’s popularity.
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