Firstly it calls to me, drawing me to it with a magnetic pull that is impossible to resist. I might be walking or driving when suddenly I know for certain that discarded and abandoned metal is nearby, waiting for me to find it. And I always do.
And then, when I see the beauty of the metal, it speaks to me again, telling me how it must be worked and shaped into a piece of sculpture that everyone can enjoy and share.
For me, the great joy in my work comes from turning something considered worthless into the artwork it becomes. In this way I am showing my respect for the metal.
The thread that runs like red wire through all my work is recycling. If I could, I would turn all the old metal and scrap iron I find into a museum of modern art. Just thinking of this idea makes my heart beat faster.
My work has developed and taken different directions over the past ten years, but was originally inspired by insects. In the same way that I see beauty in the intricate details of metal, I see the beauty in these tiny and delicate, but at the same time immensely strong and powerful creatures.
But recreating insects as a piece of sculpture I believe I give them the status and respect they deserve. Many people have told me that their eyes have been opened to the beauty of insects after seeing my sculptures, and that they no longer instinctively kill an insect when they see one. That is the best compliment my work could have.
Much of my current work is in a more abstract form, but it is still very often inspired by my respect for the natural world. Look at one of my metal wire abstracts and you may see the texture or shape of a spider’s abdomen at its core, look at another and you might decide you see the movement of a swarm of bees.
And even though I am currently enjoying working in the abstract form, if I am asked to create a new insect sculpture I do it with all the original joy and pleasure. I consider it a privilege to be able to do this – for the insects and for the metal.
I know, for certain, that iron, steel, all forms or metal feel right in my hands. People ask me, how do I get my ideas? I can only reply that I don’t need ideas, I need metal. And when I see the metal, I let it speak, I let it direct, and the ideas come.