I’m a sculptor and metal artist in Homer, Alaska. I’ve been making sculpture and original metal wall art professionally since the late ’70s.
My business card still says: Sculpture – Clay, Wood, Bronze, Stone, Steel +…
My affinity for working with a wide range of materials allows me to create art that integrates with and compliments its surroundings.
Use this page as a jumping-off point to explore my site.
You’ll find a brief introduction to The Dean Gallery and our online store, my public and private commission work, our popular Dean Homestead and Art Studio tours, and my online metal art learning resources.
Though you’ll find my organic style reflected throughout all of these media, there is one aspect of my work that is distinctive.
Over the last 30 years, I’ve developed a technique I call heat-colored steel engraving. I use it to make my metal wall art and multi-layer metal and wood wall art.
This unique style of decor consists of engraving and grinding designs into sheet steel using carefully chosen abrasives to define and model the forms, create a sense of depth, and suggest movement.
I patina these pieces with heat colors which I product using a large torch.
They are integral to the surface of the metal, coloring but not covering the grinding patterns.
I use this innovative technique to produce pieces with dynamic visual effects that change with the light and your viewing angle.
The interplay on the metal’s surface of variations in natural and artificial lighting gives them a range of characteristics not found in art made in other materials.
It takes a two-dimensional work beyond the limitations of a static viewport, transforming it into one with rich and varied characters.
Though many of my metal art designs are influenced by my surroundings here in Alaska, not all are Alaska-themed.
This video will give you a sense of the dynamic quality of the surface treatment.
I flew to King Salmon at the end of June 2022 to install this 16′ wide layered stainless and weathering steel wall sculpture at Bear Trail Lodge on the Naknek River. I’d made a heat-colored steel and birch decorative coffee table for them a few years ago.
Despite their status as a world-class fishing lodge, I didn’t make it fishing, as I was only there overnight and finished the installation with a couple of hours to spare before my return flight. Nonetheless, I had plenty of time to enjoy their excellent hospitality.
Just saying, if you’re considering an Alaskan fishing trip…
"He exceeded the expectations of all involved in the project."• Through Your Spotting Scope "Jeff Dean was a pleasure to work with and provided an exceptional piece of artwork months ahead of schedule. His website was used to provide real-time updates, detailing every step of the process. I was most impressed with his ability to collaborate with the client and design artwork which synergized with the vision and purpose of the Interpretive Center facility. He exceeded the expectations of all involved in the project."
• Denali Table
"My family and I have enjoyed the beautiful creativity of Jeff Dean's artistic production in our home for nearly 20 years. This has been in the form of the "Denali Table" which depicts various Alaskan wildlife pictured on iron set over a gorgeous wood table with metal coasters set around the table's periphery depicting the "foot prints" of all the pictured wildlife. This piece has been the topic of so many joyful conversations and memories and truly has forged lifetime memories for so many. I value this piece more than any other work of art in our home. My family and I have come to treasure this work not only for its beauty but for what it has evolved over time to represent in our Alaskan home. Thank you so much Jeff for sharing your gift with all of us!"
"We commissioned Jeff Dean and Creative Fires studio to create a sculpture for our entryway. Jeff sat down and discussed the possibilities with us. We decided to have him create “At the breathing hole” to be done with a combination of wood and steel.
• At the Breathing Hole
We can’t believe how wonderful it turned out. The sculpture was better than we imagined it would be. Jeff sent us pictures throughout the process so we could “watch” it being created and also invited us to his workshop to see the progress.
We highly recommend Jeff for any work you wish done. His talent and creativity are amazing and we are extremely pleased with the work he has done for us."
• Mountain Man w/ Raven"I met Jeff at Art in the Park in Blowing Rock. He had an impressive portfolio, and as I'd recently built a new home in Linville, I asked him to design a wall sculpture for the tall stone fireplace. He came by the house, and after discussing themes and commenting on the beautiful masonry job, he came up with a design that complimented the stone work rather than hiding it. It is a beautiful piece and was a special part of the house. I enjoyed it for many years, and now, 20 plus years later, the family that currently owns the house comments on it often."
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