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Kinetic Art - Ivan Iler

It's fairly well known that the inspiration for Velcro came from cockleburs caught in the hair of George de Mestral's dog, and that Leonardo da Vinci drew on the bird's wing for ideas for his flying machines. It seems that humans have been attempting to copy nature for a very long time. This impulse continues today with my guest Ivan Iler who is known for his metal kinetic sculptures and his artistic flare. You might know him from the Netflix show Metal Shop Masters but Its been a long road from his humble beginnings.

Today we’re going to talk about Ivan’s story

We delve into his fascination of mimicking movement in nature

You’ll get a peek behind the curtain of Ivan’s creative process


We discuss controversial travesty of the Metal shop Masters.

Even if you have never heard of Ivan Iler your ears are in for a treat.


1) Who is Ivan Iler?

2) I first saw you on Metal shop masters. Prior to that (probably like most) I didn’t know you existed. Watching the show I immediately started rooting for you. Your work seemed to be thought out a bit more and you were able to story tell with the movement in your work. It also helped that I’ve always had a fascination with kinetic and interactive sculptures.

If look back on most of my projects. They seem to have a moving or functional element to them. Seeing you in action really made me want to up my game and try some things out. So, thanks to you my wife Kristin has had to endure more pain in hearing out my crazy ideas.

Now Metal Show Masters was obviously not where it all started. It wasn’t like it was your first-time welding on the show. So, I wanted to go right back to the beginning.

Where did this all start? When did you pick up your first welder?

3) You have said you have a fascination of movement in nature. Now it truly fascinates me how you can create a natural movement often from the rotation of a handle. Then somehow like pure fucking magic you make a humpback whale swim effortlessly in the air

4) Where did the fascination come from? Did you grow up close to nature? or was it an experience that sparked something inside?

5) I want to delve into your creative process now. I’ve heard you say, you have a head for physics, and you can just visualize things. I get that I think I have this too, but I still have a process of working out if the idea will work. I wanted to go a little deeper on that process. Especially the kinetics side of things.

How do you turn an idea into reality? Do you draw things out? Mockup prototypes? Adjust as you go. What does your process from concept to finish look like?

6) Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. No, not your literal articulating elephant head you made for Scrap Fest. No lets talk about the results of Metal Shop Masters.

There is a complete reddit thread devoted to the unjust results of the show. Namely in your favor

Do you feel it was a setup and you were robbed of the win?

How do you feel about being on the show and your work?

What have been the benefits of being on the show good and bad?

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