On metal artist Will Bateman’s Facebook page, in the “about” section there is a simple statement: “Anything can be made.” And it seems to be true—all you have to do is look through photos of his work to see the variety, artistry, and skill in the design and execution of his art.
Like many artists, Will started working in metal as a hobby, something for fun when he’s not working with his dad in their heating and air conditioning company, Bateman Heating and Air in Gulf Shores, Alabama. “I first started doing copper art with my dad when I was about 10. He did this kind of art long before I did, until his shed got destroyed in Hurricane Ivan and he started the A/C company,” Will said. “He had at least one piece that was pretty famous that people might remember—an eight-foot T-Rex that lived out near the end of Fort Morgan Road. He called it a ‘Fortmorgasaurus,’ and her name was Daisy. It was a real landmark. It survived both Ivan and Katrina but then was damaged when someone tried to steal her. But she still exists, and we’re talking about re-doing her.”
Will is mostly self-taught, saying that his welding skills come from his day-job in heating and air conditioning, but his inspiration comes from his father. “I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started this, but my whole family is creative and I guess I inherited some natural ability from my dad.”
Will got a little more serious about his hobby three years ago, working mainly in copper. More recently, he’s branched out to include steel, stainless, and even aluminum in his art. “I enjoy working with all the different materials and seeing what I can create with them,” he said. “I just like to have fun with it.”
An avid hunter and fisherman, Will’s favorite subjects for his art come from nature. “I enjoy being outdoors and I know my art shows my love of nature, but really I just make whatever I feel like making, whatever I feel at that moment. I’m particularly proud of a large sailfish I created and a big, three-dimensional turtle that has lots of realistic detail. But I have many favorites. I’m happy to see that people enjoy my art.”
Will’s work is available at Sea La Vie Designs at The Wharf in Orange Beach and through his Facebook page at WB Metal Art. He frequently posts photos on his page of new pieces that are available, and he does custom work on request. For more information or to purchase a piece, contact him using the “Call Now” button on the page or direct at 251-504-2822.