Working with inherently static materials that are both solid and sensible, I try to create a little whimsy through animation and buoyancy. Starting with common copper fittings and various found objects, I employ traditional pipe-fitting techniques to construct a basic armature. From there the process becomes very spontaneous and somewhat unpredictable. Rather than working from drawings and plans, the lines are curved and tangled in a manner that’s more akin to “sketching in air”… using copper tubing the way one would take a pencil to paper. Unrehearsed, each line is gradually edited and refined until it becomes an interaction.
It’s intriguing to discover how pattern emerges from chaos, adapting and intermingling with the movement around it until it becomes something fluid and synergistic. Like a bird in a flock or a pedestrian on a crowded street. An obstacle, or a glance over the shoulder can suddenly suggest a change of heart or a new direction. The unpredictability of ebb and flow and the movement it causes is what interests me, and the things I make are meant to tell a story that is still unfolding.

Often, I work in concert with my brother, Dale Killian, whose hand carved songbirds find their way into many of my pieces. The bird’s fleeting nature seems to create a quiet and uncertain tension when resting in such strangely unnatural circumstances … oddly alone, and sometimes sadly out of place … as though just seeking a bit of refuge.

I guess that may be a lot to ask from a lamp and a few wooden birds.

BA, Studio Art,  Greenville University, 1978
Graduate Studies in Fiber, Illinois State University, 1980-81
Self-taught Plumber


My studio sits in the middle of central Illinois cornfields, in what was once a farmhand’s house, chicken coop, home to a flock of carrier pigeons, and lastly a screened summerhouse. The screens have now been replaced with floor to ceiling windows, and with the addition of a warm wood stove and salvaged industrial lighting it is now a pretty cozy refuge.

Much of my work includes the addition of hand carved wooden birds from my brother’s Wrinkled Rock Studio, which are usually created to fit the theme of the lamp.

collections & exhibitions.


Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus OH
Southern Ohio Museum of Art, Portsmouth OH
Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield OH

Cometogetherspace, Bloomington IL


St. Charles IL / Chicago IL / Heyworth IL / Bloomington IL / Galena IL / Rochester MN / Merlin OR / Ypsilanti MI / N Jackson OH / Bainbridge OH