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Work Samples

Giant Key West Rooster

15 feet tall. 7500lbs. Steel from a landfill compactor, a trenching machine, a road grader, and some tin roof.

Cateraptasaurus on Pulaski Highway

Cateraptasaurus, located at the late Alban Tractor Company, Rosedale, Maryland. It's thirteen and a half feet high and 12,500 lbs.


Lucybird is ten feet high on the stand and weighs about a ton.


About Derek

Harford County

Since graduating from Maryland Institute College of Art in 1993, Derek Arnold has completed numerous projects large and small.  His work shows a true dedication to art and his craft.  He has maintained his studio in Harford county Maryland for nearly thirty years. Derek works primarily using steel that has a unique history and character.   He is drawn to old construction equipments that display elements of engineering and industrial processes.  Flame cutting, welding, and... more


 Architectural, Structural, Horticultural, Industrial, Mechanical, Engineered Sculpture.
This piece started with a six hundred pound train wheel and a very large impeller.  It evolved over a two year period.   It weighs about 3500 lbs and is held by a concrete foundation of 22,000 lbs.  The Lily rotates and the entire structure also rotates around the center, swinging a 30 foot diameter.  It is simply pushed to change the location in the garden.

Giant Key West Chicken

I was visiting Key West and found an old landfill compactor and a trenching machine. I found out who owned them and acquired them for sculpting materials. I sent in a proposal for Sculpture Key West and was accepted. I sold my car to pay for consumables and the tireless help of a few buddies, and we constructed the rooster in six weeks. When we arrived, first, we had to build a bridge crane to lift the chicken parts. I made a deal with the local scrap metal guy and got some old crane parts that came from a navy building. Then we began the two weeks time of disassembling the old machines. Someone saw what we were doing and donated a road grader. Four more weeks of steady work on the giant rooster and it was as complete as it was going to be, there was a deadline for the opening reception, and we made it! The Giant Key West Chicken was a big success and won the Grande Esplanade Award!!
This piece was hard work and took nine hundred hours to complete. It is fitted with a dashboard and seat, hydraulic controls and cylinders. The entire body moves left and right and the beak opens and closes!
This big bird has lived in Key West, Florida for two years, Baltimore, Maryland for three years, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts for the last ten years and will soon be moving to Austin, Texas.

  • Giant Key West Rooster

    15 feet tall. 7500lbs. Steel from a landfill compactor, a trenching machine, a road grader, and some tin roof.
  • One BIG chicken!

    Standing 15 feet high the completion is near.
  • The Rooster's Head

    The beak opens and closes from a control lever in the driver's cockpit!
  • Giant Key West Chicken

    Sighted from across the Ft. Zachary Taylor mote.
  • The rooster crows!

    Assembled at Ft. Zachary Taylor just in time.
  • Building the bridge crane

    These parts were originally a crane that was removed from a Navy building on Stock Island. I modified the pieces to fit a chicken.
  • Landfill compactor.

    In process of disassembly.
  • Trenching machine.

    Originally owned by the Key West Aquaduct Authority, this machine provided many parts for the sculpture.
  • Hips, Legs and Feet

    A rainy morning left a huge puddle at the chicken's feet. Here you can see that the feet are made from the large landfill compactor wheels.
  • The model.

    "Spirit', the one eyed rooster from Key West.

Stones and Steel

Seven precisely balanced stones are held together by steel and rotate around a central axis.  The rotation weight of the twelve foot diameter stone and steel wheel weigh in at 3000 pounds.  I began designing this piece thinking of a visual layout of the stones.  I precisely measured each stone and its center of gravity.  Using CAD, I entered the dimensional and weight data into a spreadsheet so I could modify the design easily to achieve precise balance.   A CNC torch machine was used to cut the steel plates that hold the stones in place.  Motion is driven by a motor,  gear reduction, and rheostat to achieve a range of speeds.  Modified Caterpillar tractor parts are used as support columns to hold the axis of the work.  The piece is fifteen feet high and is bolted to 8 tons of concrete.

Periodical Spaceship Cicada

This project was made during the emergence of the 17 year Periodical Cicada in 2004.  There was no shortage of models for this project and I had one very willing who hung around for about a week while I studied its movement.  This cicada has five hinges in each leg to achieve a range of motion similar to the insect's real anatomical range-of-motion.  One difference that I made was to construct a mouth that looks more like a sharks mouth, instead of the long proboscis.  


The Cateraptasaurus was created for "Sculpture at Evergreen", an outdoor sculpture exhibition at The Evergreen House in Baltimore, Maryland. It was also made possible by the late Alban Tractor Company who proudly displayed the creature at their Pulaski Highway facility.
The Cateratasaurus weighs in at over 13,000 pounds, and stands 13 feet 4 inches high!


"From Bedrock to Bartertown" is built on the chassis of a 1972 V.W. Beetle. I built it in 1995 with the help of Baltimore's Festival of the Arts: Artscape.
The materials that make up the body are chunks of oak, sycamore, maple, cherry and other wood. These materials are combined with disc plow and combine parts, pieces of a chimney flue and various other scrap metal. It has safety glass and improved suspension. The back end opens up to get access to the motor.
The car is natural and organic, a mix of the past and the future. In the car's name, Bedrock refers to the past and is influenced by the Flintstones. Bartertown is inspired by the Mad Max movies.

The pedal car was made as a human powered vehicle also made possible by Baltimore's Artscape. I constructed it in 1997. It weighed in at about 700 pounds and was powered by a person, pedaling a flywheel. In turn it used the inertia from the spinning weight to engage the drive wheels. It worked pretty well as long as you weren't going up hill..

The last vehicle was my 1987 Ford Ranger. Again a project for Baltimore's Artscape, 2009. I removed everything that was not essential for vehicle to run, including all the sheet metal and all the structure above the frame. I then used an 1960's Horn/ New Idea front end loader from a tractor and some pipes that I salvaged from the American Brewery. I moved the seat to the bed of the truck and also put the steering wheel in the middle. It has a summer dogsled cart for a front grill and some caterpillar tractor parts too. It became a super dangerous field runner that was loads of fun to drive.

  • From Bedrock to Bartertown

    A Volkswagen chassis under a body made of trees and farm equipment.
  • Pedal Car

    This vehicle is human powered. The operator pedals a flywheel and transfers its inertia to the drive wheels by way of clutches.
  • 87 Ford Ranger

    I had to keep the computer and most of the electrical components.
  • 87 Ford Ranger

    I moved the seat and steering wheel into the middle. Rebuilt just about everything.
  • 87 Ford Ranger

    Refashioned for Baltimore's Artscape. I wanted to remove everything that wasn't necessary for the vehicle to run, and I wanted to sit in the middle.

Various Works

Various works.

  • Hogfish

    This piece weighs about 500 pounds and is located in front of the Hogfish Bar and Grill in Stock Island, Florida.
  • Fish on a Bike

    Made from steel plate and horseshoes.
  • Red Rooster

    This fellow started with a few curved pipes that I had laying around. I skinned it with sheet metal from a 1960's Allis Chalmers corn chopper.
  • Cartoon Gears

    This piece is about 8 feet tall an is made of locust wood and steel.
  • Dozer Tracks

    I welded the links together and cut the track pads to make this form. It weighs about a ton.
  • Verdantisaurus

    This piece is made mostly from John Deere tractor parts. It is about four feet tall.
  • Permit Fish

    This steel Permit fish is part of a garden water feature. The pool is tidal and constantly changes depths . It is about two and a half feet, nose to tail.
  • Wall hanging Belly Fish

    The sculpture has a belly full and is still hungry.
  • Hand operated fish

    This sculpture moves by turning a handle. It then turns a flywheel which actuates linkage and levers that open and close the mouth also moving the tail back and forth.
  • Rooster and Hen

    This pair is about 18 inches high. They are mostly forged into shape and contain a few parts such as horseshoes and cultivator parts.


In 1993, soon after graduating from Maryland Institue College of Art, I packed this sculpture into my truck and headed to Lenexa, Kansas for a weekend "Art in the Park". When I arrived, they had picked a location for the artwork on an island in the middle of a large pond.  There were walkways leading around the park and many permanent sculpture installations.  The city arts council purchased my sculpture and it is still on location.   The sculpture was originally a combination of wood and steel.   After 16 years the wood had mostly rotted away, so I decided to rebuild the piece.  In 2009 I went back to Kansas and spent about a week rebuilding the piece with all steel parts. 

Chocolate Moose

The Chocolate Moose is made for Jemicy School.  Originally, one of the founders of the school had built a moose from logs and used steel rebar to create antlers.  After time disolved several versions of the log moose and many years later, I was asked to construct a new moose.  I was to interpret the old moose, and create a new, more permanent moose. 
My idea was to build a steel moose that would appear quite simple but combine visual and mechanical complexities.  The surface relief depicts some of the real placement of the bones found in the shoulders and hips of a moose.  Mechanical obects such as tractor parts and crane truck parts are included to create a stylistic idea of moose anatomy.   The thin body is reminiscent of the simple logs. 

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Derek's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.