The work you will find here represents the culmination of skills learned from time spent in various places of employment and education. Also techniques studied and learned through personal interest. Such as, Two years apprenticeship in blacksmithing learning many techniques for working and treating steel with heat as well as welding, fabrication and the restoration of damaged iron work. Two years experience in architectural antiques gaining experience in working with wood, leather, resins and many other materials. This also gave me the opportunity to compare the appearance and quality of actual antiques with their reproductions and a great insight into how things should look and feel when used and weathered. Five years in higher education, three at university level where I was awarded B.A, (hons) in Design Crafts. I learned about the design process, working small and precious metals including personalized jewellery items, stiff and soft foams, ceramics, simple mechanisms and their uses and still more about wood, leather and the processes of blacksmithing.
My personal interests have driven me to research a great many other techniques and processes. Including bladesmithing and the construction of armour (both European and oriental), further interest in mechanisms especially puzzle boxes and weaponry, sculpting and model making (in various scales and materials), mold making and lost wax casting.
My work is driven by escapism, intrigue and the mysterious. I draw a lot of inspiration from the worlds of fantasy and the romantic view we have of the warrior classes from civilizations past. The chivalry and self sacrifice of the Knight in shining armour. The mental fortitude and discipline of the Samurai. The ferocity, courage and resilience of our native Celts. Although my work comes from the realms of the fantastic I pride myself on making things believable, functional and in some small way based in reality. The thought that the spell may be broken by picking up and manipulating one of my pieces only to find that it doesn’t feel right in the hand, or that it would not perform the task for which it was created, is abhorrent to me.
Craftsmanship is very important. Most of the work that goes into one of my pieces may never be seen but without it, the piece would not be whole. It would be hollow, a mere shell of it‘s full potential.
I also like to add a sense of mystery, whether through the application of ancient mystical symbols. The use of hidden or unexpected mechanisms or simply making the piece look old, as if it already has a life of it‘s own. Promoting a feeling of intrigue and enchantment in the observer is a major driving force in my work.
My main passion however, lies in medieval weapons and armour. Again this comes from the romantic ideals these objects symbolize and the skill needed to create such artefacts rather than their intended use. The talent of the Japanese blade smiths for example, is legendary. The construction of armour is just as impressive especially when you start to delve into the many different and often unexpected materials which have been used over the centuries.
I hope this gives some insight into my methods and inspirations and I hope you will enjoy looking at my work.