The son of abstract expressionist painter Joop Sanders, he was born in 1953 and grew up in Manhattan, New York City. He graduated from Trinity School 1971, then SUNY at Stonybrook, then obtained an MFA from Berkeley, California in 1979.
A sculptor since age 15, he began as a wood carver and then moved into granite and marble carving. Subsequently, he concentrated on steel sculpture for almost 50 years. He developed a new technique for carving metal with flame which he calls “flame-carved steel”. Using the oxygen-acetylene torch, he achieves textural results comparable to carved granite. He has also been forging steel, giving his massive steel sculptures the feeling of lightness.