Navy vet welds symbols of American strength, unity out of stainless steel

Berkshire County

CHESHIRE, Mass. (NEWS10) — A Berkshire County man is using his skills from his days of serving in the U.S. Navy to build works of art. In his Cheshire, Massachusetts workshop, Gary Czarnecki lights up when he’s doing what he loves. 

“Whatever I created, I want it to be immediately recognizable,” Czarnecki explained.

There is no mistaking the American Bald Eagle sculpture that now sits out on his property. “I’ve always been fascinated with the majesty with which they soar.  One day I’m driving, I looked, and I go, ‘oh my God it’s a bald eagle,'” Czarnecki exclaimed.

That moment of inspiration sparked off some American ingenuity. “Wouldn’t it be cool to build a bald eagle out of stainless steel?” he recalled saying.

RECON (Gary Czarnecki)

On the surface, Czarnecki may be a welder, but deep at his core, he is an American patriot.

“I went in the Navy at 17. That’s where I first learned to weld in Scotland,” Czarnecki remembered.

His love for country and eagle eye for art igniting the idea.

“I just felt like doing something that symbolized not only our national symbol but the unity that should be associated with being an American. Instead of being as divided as we seem to be today.”

His handcrafted pieces have been displayed around town as they stand tall and proud. “Every single one of them hand-cut, sheared, shaped, and hand-bent,” Czarnecki explained as he shows NEWS10 his sculptures.

Her strength and majesty standing the test of time and serving as a reminder that we are stronger together than apart.  

“You’ve got two stationary pieces of metal you need to join and unify as one,” as Czarbecki put it. “A lot of photographs taken with her that’s for sure. I would hope it would give them a sense of patriotism and unification.”

Hitting at the core of what makes us American: our independence and freedom to soar.

His most ambitious project, known as Recon, the American Bald Eagle sculpture atop a tree, stands at 9 ft. tall and weighs in at more than 600 pounds. Czarnecki said it took him more than six months to build.

You can find out more about Czarnecki’s artwork on his website.

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