Book Info

Fire and Steel: The Sculpture of Grace Cathey celebrates Grace Cathey's art. A biographical chapter explores her artistic roots. Subsequent chapters tell stories, in her own words, about some of her most remarkable pieces: from a four hundred pound dahlia, to a huge Toad, to custom designed flower, trees, eagles. More than 150 color photos offer readers the opportunity to explore the full range of Grace Cathey's sculpture.

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About the Authors

This book is a collaboration between Grace Ullrich Cathey, whose award-winning metal sculptures mark her as a unique artist in the mountains of North Carolina, and distinguished historian Sara M. Evans, author of Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America and numerous other books and articles. Evans taught the history of American women at the University of Minnesota from 1976 to 2008. A native Carolinian, she spends spring and fall in western North Carolina.

Praise for Grace Cathey

Together with great Renaissance sculptors like Ghiberti and Giambologna, and with the 19th-century American master Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Grace Cathey shares a gift rare among artists. Her exacting craftsmanship coaxes metal into works of art that are alive with the likeness of graceful, vibrant, playful creatures. The delight the eye and light up the heart.

William Hood, Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

As the sole juror for the annual regional sculpture competition in Lenior, NC, I explore many fine creations in metal among every other type of raw material. When I came to Grace Cathey's work, however, I experience an "aha!" moment. Here was something special, beautifully conceived, and brilliantly executed. Her integration of the natural world into her large formats i lyrical and lovely, not easy to achieve in such an unyielding material. Grace is an artist craftsman of the first order.

Lawrence J. Wheeler, Directory, North Carolina Museum of Art

If you're a serious gardener you'll want to own a copy of Grace Cathey's Fire & Steel. Even the best designed garden will be seriously lacking if it doesn't also possess a large dose of whimsy. And can think of no better place to find such whimsy than in delightful sculptures of Grace Cathey. Where else could you find a five-hundred-pound, five foot long steel toad whose textured, bumpy skin was produced by welding bolts, ball bearings, wires, washers, and nuts to his back? If such large scale is not your thing how about twenty-nine inch Praying Mantis that you can place in your mixed border to wait patiently for an equally-out sized meal to coma along. Regardless of how you wish to fulfill your garden's --and the human heart's need for whimsy i can think of no better way to begin your search than in Grace Cathey's Fire & Steel. You'll find your da[ily dose of whimsy on every page. Treat yourself to this enlivening little work; you'll be so glad you did!

Larry L. Ligo, Ph. D, Lecturer in Garden History, Garden Designer