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Off the Grid

Last year, I found myself traveling in the luscious countryside of Ohio, in a region called Amish Country.

No doubt that cities like Berlin, OH are unusual places where you can step out of time and feel transport to the past.

Ohio has terrific antique shops full of old farm tools, among many other treasures, some very unusual. I was doing one of my favorite activities, that is browsing at one of the many antique shops when I found a very old yoke.

A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals (ox) and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.

Immediately called my attention, I had no idea what I could make with this heavy yoke, but I bought it and sent it to my workplace in Boynton Beach, Florida.

While I was waiting for the yoke to arrive, many creative ideas started to burst into my mind. I knew that the old yoke could be transformed into something meaningful, a sculpture, a unique piece of art.

The yoke is synonym of hard labor, painful and pitiful way of life for the farm animals. Many times, "be under a yoke" is a common phrase used to refer to humans that live as slaves under the pressure of a system.

So, the inspiration was there! I needed to create an industrial pipe structure to seat the Midwest yoke, to keep the theme rustic and, add a little guy trying to escape from the yoke.

Then, I painted the wireman in blue color to make it more visually appealing.

And, voila! Off the Grid was created out of an old yoke from the Amish country, with a compelling message of freedom.

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