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About the Artist

Designing and fabricating custom laboratory equipment to jumpstart the Human Genome project at a university might pay the bills but your imagination can’t go off into the abstract too often. Daniel Carl Wright spent some three decades fabricating this and that for someone else before the opportunity to create for himself.

A lifelong “pathological fabricator”; Wright had to surrender to instinct creativity with a personal focus.

Dan was born in Illinois and spent his 60’s youth building slot cars, then motorcycles and cars. He met his Wife, Kristeen and sisters on a country road and fixed the broke down car. Dan and Kris became high school sweet hearts. The couple enjoys spending much of their time together working in their studio creating or planting a garden with tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and flowers.

Dan refined his sculpting and molding skills at Mattel Toys. He also attended to production oversight, cost control and play-fun.

It isn’t so much what has changed as it is for whom he crafts and why something comes out of nothing. As Remington sculpted the American Wild West, Wright carries the passion forward, but now all the ponies are under the hood as he focuses on the special construction speed machines that traverse the majestic Bonneville Salt Flats. Whether a streamlined racecar or motorcycle, these evocative pieces visually resonate speed and power, extreme speed and power only dedicated few will ever experience first-hand.

“I am doing this for myself,” observed sculptor Wright, “It is very nice if other people appreciate my work, but that is not why I do it.”

The expression is bursting forth, manifesting through his lifelong automotive fascination as tributes to milestone moments in land speed racing. Dan was first introduced to Bonneville in 1991, seeing Al Teague race to 409 mph. Dan fell in love with the salt and the cars that came to run there when he moved to Utah and joined the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) and became a technical inspector then built his own streamliner. The USFRA commissioned him to create sculpture suitable for special presentation Fine Art Trophies awarded for ultimate achievement at the highest levels of motorsports.

Using a variety of mediums and materials the piece is created. The design is then molded for the ancient process of Lost Wax Casting to create Stainless Steel and Bronze pieces. It is then left to Wright to apply finish, polish and assemble into stunning, evocative finished objects.

Wright’s studio is filled with all manner of shop equipment including a CNC mill, lathe, welding apparatus, silicone molding and casting, vacuum forming, injection molding, electronics assembly, sewing and drawers of tools. He is quick to point out that, “I don't need to know everything, I just need to know who to ask.”

As an engineer at The University Of Utah Dept. of BioEngineering, he is ardently devoted to teaching a new generation the methods and skills required to fabricate complex medical devices. This is his small, practical way of assuring at least some of America’s collective manufacturing wisdom is retained for posterity. Wright earns a fine, respectable living in the 9 to 5 world, but as a sculptor he has found new purpose for expressing his talent.

You can reach Daniel by emailing dan@saltflats.com