Metal warriors

The life-sized functional art pieces of a Scotsman and a Viking are a whimsical departure from the usual creations of Karoly Szücs.

As he celebrates the 10th anniversary of Artisan Metal Works, Karoly hopes that he can now make more commissions of this type.

The pieces, both chairs, are gifts for clients with whom Karoly has had

an ongoing working relationship for as long as he’s been in operation in Cayman.

“This could be the start of more fun pieces to come,” he says.

“In the past few years, I have had little time to fall back on my passion but it’s now time to go back to my roots.”

Artistic design is the first love of this talented metal worker, whose pieces take pride of place in gardens, homes, offices and public spaces across Cayman.

After spending a decade building up the company and concentrating on functional metal work to pay the bills, Karoly is now keen to develop his artistic skills.

The Scotsman and Viking bring out the fun side of Karoly’s imagination, translating into designs relevant to the friends he is presenting them to.

“They are for a Scottish friend and a Norwegian friend who both live here in Cayman,” he says.

The Scotsman piece is a clansman dressed in a kilt with accompanying Highland regalia, while the Viking is also in national costume.

Although they appear to hover in mid-air, both chairs are bolted to the floor and are comfortable and safe to sit in.

Karoly, who is originally from Hungary, formed Artisan Metal Works in November of 2002 with business partner Leslie Bergstrom.

Among his many distinctive pieces are a Caymanian catboat-inspired

sculpture at Heroes Square, the Cayman National Bank roundabout life-sized giant turtles, a spectacular lobby staircase at Butterfield Bank, and a large, futuristic turtle sculpture for Ogier.

Karoly and his team have also created numerous customised sculptures for private residences, such as a “sunflower” shower for his business partner and unique gates at upscale developments including The Shores and Salt Creek. In addition, his work can be seen throughout Camana Bay.

As demand for Karoly’s inspiring designs has risen over the years, so, too, has his workforce. The company moved into purpose-built premises on the industrial estate in George Town in 2008.

Karoly and his team have won a number of awards, including accolades from the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metal Association six years in a row.

 “We’ve come a long way in 10 years despite many obstacles to overcome,” he says.