I have always drawn since I could hold a pencil, I specialized in Graphic Design as I was thinking of a career as an architect, I started my degree in Bath, however realizing that computers were taking over the drawing side in the 90s, so I changed my course and went back to the first year to become a Fine Artist.
This is where not only was I enjoying learning various woodworking techniques but discovered my love for metal! I began by learning welding then moving into bronze and aluminium casting. My degree work was based on body modification whereby I cast large piercing objects to stretch walls and floors.
I stayed in Bath and rented and lived in my studio, my first commission was to design and create trophies for a TV game show “Robot Wars”. I struggled running Art as a business and decided to buy a circus truck and go travelling in Europe!
Whilst I was travelling not only did my cultural experiences enrich, I discovered Blacksmithing at which point I went on to study at Hereford College.
My sculptural techniques have become technically proficient due to the Blacksmithing which has also complemented my Art practise.
In 2009 I was awarded an Arts Council Grant enabling me to take time away from my Blacksmithing business and sculpt instead. I had my first major solo exhibition at the MOMA in Wales. When creating the sculptures I use pioneering blacksmithing techniques that I have researched and developed myself. This collection of artwork identifies with the strengths and weaknesses of human emotion and the impact it has regarding skeletal spine. I have utilised and adapted this blacksmithing process, which I named the “bone technique”. I feel that it reflects the visual feeling I wanted to achieve. One of the main forces behind my sculpture is the new processes I find through exploration with the medium of metal.
My biggest artistic influence is Louise Bourgeois, as her eye for detail and refinement is remarkable. For example, her techniques in creating her spiders are very different to mine, but both offer realism and movement. Louise inspires me with her knowledge and her capability to evoke feeling, movement and reaction.
I am currently studying my Masters in Art Practise at Glyndwr University, specializing in ceramics. I have been researching and experimenting, joining metal to ceramics to heighten the emotional content in my new work. I have discovered many similarities between the two materials and hope to publish a book with these findings.
Please visit my Blacksmithing website at www.spiketheblacksmith.co.uk