Blacksmithing for me started as a technical discipline. After completing a vocational course at Herefordshire Technical College I moved to London to gain hands on experience in different forges, assisting on the production of large & small architectural commissions and restoration projects. A growing ambition to generate my own designs and run a workshop practice led me back to Hereford to the Artist Blacksmithing BA(hons) course at Hereford College of Arts. During my time as a student I developed the technical discipline acquired as a journeyman alongside my artistic interests, giving me the opportunity to develop my own design vocabulary.
In 2007 I got my first workshop and established my business as designer maker. My main focus is to combine contemporary artistic ideas with traditional craft techniques. My primary inspiration is in steel as a medium, how when hot it can be manipulated into diverse forms whilst retaining strength so when cooled it can retain robust and durable structure. This durability of form is important to me as I find little charm in disposable commercial products. I aim to make a well-considered blend of the historical and contemporary to produce items that have an artistic integrity and stylistic longevity.
Most of my work is bespoke and made in response to commissioning clients. I relish rising to the challenge brought by a design brief, responding to the specifics of site and clients wishes. Although whilst engaged in a project ideas and possibilities for new work always arise, creative questions to answer, which I satisfy by maintaining a parallel practice of producing sculptural items and smaller products. I am currently working on a new range to be shown at craft fairs and exhibitions.
I celebrate my role of bringing contemporary relevance to the time-honoured craft of blacksmithing through my own work and supporting its future continuation. To this end, I have been back at Hereford College of Arts since 2009, this time part of the academic staff leading the Artist Blacksmithing BA, assisting in the development of the course and overseeing students in the studio and forge. I have also been active in exhibiting (showing my work and that of others) and being involved in live forging events (see ACTIVITIES for details)
- 2007 est. Ambrose Burne Contemporary Forged Metal Design: workshop practice as designer maker producing forged metal products to commission and for exhibition
- 2009 Lecturer Hereford College of Arts (and Herefordshire College of Technology) assisting in the development and delivery of the course programme in Artist Blacksmithing degree course and overseeing student work