Exotic Metal Masterpieces

Local Artist Creates Huge and Fun Sculpture

by Patricia Cazares, age 12

At the Simpson Street Free Press, we always say it pays to explore. Books, science, history or space—it pays to explore. So after our recent trip to Mount Horeb to photograph trolls, we decided to head up highway 78 toward Black Earth and Cross Plains.

On Highway 78, north of Mount Horeb, Free Press reporters encountered an entire field of exotic creatures made out of scrap metal. We have since learned that these creations were made by the late sculptor Wally Keller, who died last year.

Keller started his sculpting career by crafting his pieces from old farm machinery, just for fun. Since 1995, he has sold over a thousand of his creations. His pieces include: a nine-eyed Crown Bug, The Parts Man, The Temple Lion, and many dragons and dinosaurs. The pieces are on display outside the Keller residence, a valley home Wally and his wife, Shirley, built in the 1970s.

When we got to the field, we noticed that most of these unique creatures used kinetic energy to create movement and had many different tools. These sculptures are bizarre, interesting, creative, and quite large. The sculptures could be seen from the road, so all you have to do is ride by to visit. But if you somehow miss this field of creations, stop when you get to the Tin Man Mailbox.

Although Wally Keller is no longer with us, and someone else now owns his house, his stunning sculptures remain. While the public is free to view them, family members ask that people be respectful of his work, as well as the new owners.

[Sources: Interview with Shirley Keller; www.roadsideamerica.com]