Working in tube and sheet steel rather than traditional solid steel bar encourages Ian to explore by applying traditional blacksmithing techniques of fire and hammer to modern materials. These vessels are an exploration of form, texture, and colour, always trying to produce something different and exciting. Ideas stem from exploring the curves, holes and folds of the human body and its clothing. Holes, gaps and crevices in almost anything provide further sources of inspiration. He is also inspired by contemporary ceramics and
by interpreting these ideas in steel he aims to create a unique style and unique sculptural objects.
All the vessels on display are hot forged from mild steel, hammered by hand. This process produces wonderfully subtle colour variations ranging from blue to browns, purples and deep reds, as well as beautiful surface textures. Some of the objects are patinated and all are finished with wax to preserve the texture and colour and prevent natural rusting.
These are a recent departure, experimenting in drawing in steel. Ian has tried to produce movement and drama with simple but subtly bending lines, capturing the clothes as much as the body within, derived from simple pen and ink sketches.
After a successful career with BT Ian left to follow a more creative path. On a part-time basis he began work designing and making furniture but soon realised that he needed to produce more creative pieces.
Ian snapped up the opportunity to take a foundation course at Camberwell College of Arts, where he was introduced to metalwork. This led to studying a degree in Silversmithing and Metalwork at Camberwell, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and left with a First, eager to apply his newfound creativity in the real world. Since then he has shared his time between personal projects where he can explore creatively and more functional commissions which provide an income and, rarely, a creative opportunity.
Since leaving college in1999 he has continued to develop his metalwork whilst also trying to earn a living as a Metalsmith. Ian have his own small forge in Brockley, SE London.