Creative Pagosa: MAKERS in the community

Photo courtesy James Ferrari Pagosa sculptor James Ferrari works on a piece in his studio. Ferrari took inspiration from his last name and now creates his sculptures with original Ferrari car parts.

Photo courtesy James Ferrari
Pagosa sculptor James Ferrari works on a piece in his studio. Ferrari took inspiration from his last name and now creates his sculptures with original Ferrari car parts.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is building a web-based directory of all the creative people and businesses in the community. Creating this website will make these MAKERS easierto find in online search engines and help share the wealth of innovative and talented individuals that call our small town home.

This sort of database is called “cultural mapping” and is being done by communities around the country in order to realize and recognize the value of their creative assets.

The Pagosa Arts & Culture Project is establishing the groundwork for continued collaboration and cooperation and promotional efforts of the combined community. The goal of the project is to establish a solid foundation of cultural and creative individuals and businesses, to create a viable plan for promoting these assets and to promote the Pagosa area as a worthy place of residence for creative people, a productive place for creative business ventures and a desirable destination for arts tourism.

At present, the PACP is also planning an event for fall 2013. The event, the MAKERS Expo and Tour, is set for Oct. 12-13.

To register and be listed in the database, go to

In order to highlight the MAKERS in Pagosa, the PACP will profile its members, giving readers of The PREVIEW a sense of the depth and breadth of the creative community.

This week’s MAKER is James Ferrari.

Q: Tell us a little about who you are, where you were born, educated, your family, growing up and how you came to be doing your creative work?

JF: I was born in the summer of 1969 in Bronxville, New York. Growing up I spent the school year in southwest Florida and my summers in New York.

I was always artistic, but really started developing my skills and an eye for proportions, layout and design during my high school years.

During this time, I worked at a sign shop, became a professional graffiti artist and then transitioned into a muralist.

After a long sitdown with my older brother, Joe, I found myself enrolled at Edison Community College which had great art instructors. From there, it was off to Florida State University where I majored in studio art and graphic design. During my last semester, I developed a passion for welding and creating art and sculpture out of metal. After graduating in 1993, my mother helped me purchase my first welder and I have been creating in metal ever since.

Q: Describe the objects you make or the creative work you do.

JF: During this 20-year journey I have l learned, developed, and honed my skills to the point I can envision and create most subject matter out of most mediums. But, as an artist, you need direction and distinct style. Basically, you need to brand yourself.

So, in 2009 I finally had that long overdue epiphany … with a last name like “Ferrari” I have to start creating my sculptures with original Ferrari car parts!

After relocating Ferrari Studios to Pagosa in 2011, I made a great Ferrari parts connection in Phoenix. And, now … it’s off to the races!

I essentially see something in the Ferrari parts, then use my metal skills, whether it be in stainless steel, aluminum or carbon steel, to complete my vision. Although, usually equine inspired, I can create anything.

Q: What is your favorite tool or material used in making your work? Why?

JF: Tools are cool in general. But, I would lean towards my DynaFile 2. It’s a hand-held, pneumatic mini-belt sander. With belts as thin as an eighth of an inch, it’s ideal for fine detail sanding and grinding. As far as materials, I love those Ferrari parts!

Q: Do you have a regular routine or schedule?

JF: Usually I’m in the studio every day and, depending on my deadlines, I try to catch a workout in the evenings.

Q: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

JF: I have received lots of great advice over the years. Since the passing of my parents and others earlier in my life, I made it a point to heed their advice sooner rather than later. “Live like you were dying” might be a song title, but I wish they would have, as I am now.

Q: When you’re not making art, what is your favorite thing to do in Pagosa Country?

JF: The little time I spend away from the studio is enjoyed immensely with our new friends over dinner engagements and social gatherings.

Q: What are your goals for the coming year?

JF: To keep improving, producing and working side-by-side with my talented wife, Debra, to keep elevating Ferrari Studios into the world spotlight.

Q: What is your dream project?

JF: The “4 Horses of Ferrari” project. I will be creating four life-size horses out of Ferrari car parts and stainless steel inspired by “The Four Bronze Horses of Helios” by Rudy Weller at Haymarket Piccadilly Circus in Central London. More to come on that.

For more information on James Ferrari’s creative work, visit

This story was posted on March 21, 2013.