John Weidman is a sculptor who takes what others throw away and converts it into works of art, combining found objects with more conventional sculpture materials, including metal and stone. In Mr. Weidman's yard and workshop, that sharing takes shape. His studio is a converted red barn, filled with sculptures, jet engine-powered welding tools, slabs of stone and sheets of steel.
Born in Wisconsin, Mr. Weidman grew up on the university campuses where his father taught history. From an early age he gravitated to the art departments. He discovered sculpting when he was 18 years old doing summer maintenance work for the U.S. Air Force. After breaking his wrist in a motorcycle accident, he found his true calling.
During a short stint as an artist in the military, Mr. Weidman painted the portrait of James T. Davis, the first American killed in Vietnam, which was commissioned to hang at Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass. He then attended, but never graduated from, various universities, including Harvard Medical School, where he studied anatomy and physiology.
Much of Mr. Weidman's time is spent in Ukraine, where he met his wife. He also was inducted into the country's Union of Artists, a group of the nation's most talented fine arts professionals. So far, he is the first and only American asked to join the group.