The versatility of metals, and especially wrought steel, opens exciting opportunities, and challenges that lead to exploration of methods and forms. I enjoy also the combination of utility and form, especially when some whimsy can be incorporated. I have enjoyed being inspired by and learning from blacksmiths in London, Tashkent, Bokhara, St Petersburg, Italy, Tibet, and USA as well as many in Australia. Always the interactions have opened horizons as well as imposing humility on me, both in technique and in aesthetics. One simple visit to a blacksmith in St Petersburg led me to myriad experiments with forging plant leaves.
Someone dear to me detected my Asperger’s syndrome; hence the whimsy “Aspburger”. Every aspect of this project involved development of (for me) new methods, even obtaining the right amount of rust on the bun.
How did I get here? Throughout my life before professional retirement I was an electrical engineer, professor and researcher internationally, but I always enjoyed relaxing by making things by hand. I’d joke that in the old days I’d be a blacksmith. Soon after I retired, my partner, Rae, gave me a forge and I thought that I should show some enthusiasm. I was soon excited to find that my engineering discipline blended well with artistry. A great satisfaction is in works created for commissions - working with customers to develop designs to their needs and tastes and then developing techniques to implement them. There is much fun in developing the necessary methods, tools, and machines.