Joshua Sines: Reclaimed Metal Artist

Last Updated on Feb 5, 2015 at 2:03pm | Arts & Culture

Artistically Speaking is a regular feature of The Lake-Front magazine, in cooperation with Garrett County Arts Council, and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue.
Born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of Maryland, Joshua Sines is enthusiastic about the growth of art in Garrett County. He is also pleased with the community’s response to his own art created from reclaimed auto parts. Joshua’s works meld the innate beauty of individual gears, sprockets, transmission chains, spark plugs and other worn out machine parts into sculptures for display in homes, gardens and businesses. They are the perfect Valentine’s gift for someone who loves machines and metal!
Joshua has been around the automotive industry most of his life and currently manages My-O-Tire Auto Services, a family-owned business in Oakland, Maryland. His daily exposure to multitudes of machines and spare parts sparked an interest in metal as more than just functional components. Over the last decade, Joshua’s metal work that began as a business necessity, has gradually developed into his personal artistic expression. “Our family business was going through some employee changes and I was the only one with any experience in welding or brazing. While teaching our technicians this process, I began making simple little things out of scrap metal. After many ash trays, coat racks and various other non-esthetic projects, I began to think about the visual appeal of the pieces I created.”
Intended as representational, Joshua’s metal sculptures promote and allow for viewers’ individual interpretations. “My primary goal is to stimulate thoughts and emotions using ‘stuff’ we discard every day without a second thought. In the auto repair and tire business, I have witnessed large amounts of waste that, sadly, we all see as needed. Through my art, I try to convey thoughts about over-consumption and waste, and its impact on our environment.”
In addition to metal work, Joshua also enjoys photography. It was one of his first artistic endeavors as a young person. He likes to incorporate metal work and photography by shooting images of his sculptures in various settings, adding additional content for the viewer’s interpretation. “It is my hope that we will all begin to reevaluate what is actually needed and redirect life in a positive direction.”
When asked about his mentors and sources of inspiration, Joshua said, “While growing up in Mountain Lake Park, I had the opportunity to live near and get to know Mark and Laura Stutzman. Having friends and neighbors like them, who were achieving amazing things in the international art community, was an early source of inspiration. Their example still inspires me to strive to do more. When I got older and started my metal work, Josh Gambetta was an enormous source of inspiration. He helped me get started with the sales aspect of my art. Without his guidance, encouragement and the opportunity for exposure he provided, I would still just be making ash trays and coat racks!”
Most of objects that Joshua uses to create his sculptures are old, discarded car parts that have been replaced by the technicians at My-O-Tire. “They’re from the cars you see driving around Garrett County every day.” His creative process usually begins with one automotive piece that sparks an idea. “I get an inkling that it looks like something and from there, I begin to add or manipulate.” Joshua describes his creative process as one that flows from the original spark rather than a planned process. His original idea is often transformed several times on the way to the final sculpture.
He describes it this way. “I will be walking around the garage and see a scrap car part that sparks an idea. That idea will nag at me until I start to develop it.” Joshua has found that, for him, the process of creating requested or commissioned pieces is often more difficult than sculptures triggered by his own imagination. “For commissioned pieces, I have to find a part that reminds me of some aspect of the piece that I’ve been asked to make. Then my creative process takes off from there.” After discovering the initial piece that serves as the catalyst for an idea, it often takes Joshua months to find and assemble the array of components needed to create the sculpture that he envisions.
Joshua’s creations are available for purchase at The Gallery Shop, 206 East Alder Street, and at My-O-Tire Auto Services, 133 Weber Road, in Oakland, MD. His work is also available at The Gallery in LaVale, Maryland, and through his own website:
For more information on local artists or to become a supporting member of arts programming throughout Garrett County, contact the Garrett County Arts Council at (301) 334-6580 or visit