Having worked predominantly in cast iron and forged steel for the past 16 years, more recent work has developed from considering a smaller scale, resulting in more delicate pieces built up in copper, graphite and porcelain.
In 2009 I finally began working with honeybees, enabling me to experiment and discover ways to ‘coerce’ these incredible creatures to build to my needs. Beekeeping is highly seasonal; it has taken time and patience, allowing work at times to literally grow, organically, before I can continue with my part. This enables me to produce work which I hope portrays the intricate beauty of the comb inside a honeybee hive; the natural beauty resulting from organic growth, and a need for economy and strength. Conversely, it wasn’t until I embarked on a beekeeping course that I truly realised that honeybees are subject to intensive-farming methods as much as other livestock - this has also impacted on my thoughts and direction of my work.
Despite having different starting points and entirely opposing methods of production, these newer pieces have a strong resemblance to some of my cast iron work, which is still evolving.
My work tends to sit precariously on that faint, wobbly line between ‘Art’ and ‘Craft’. My inspiration stems from many places: livestock and plant life found in my natural environment (particularly the tiny details), the curl of a new shoot, the structure of a seedpod, the hipbones of a dairy cow. My concerns over intensive farming and human impact on the environment also influence what I do. The work is not a direct interpretation of what I see, more an impression, a result of my own interpretation; it can imply a force, a pushing.
My methods of design vary greatly. Be it long, hard, sweated over sketches, midnight inspirations or, often most successfully, ideas through what I heard recently termed as ‘process led design’, but which I’ve always known as ‘playing'.