I Have spent most of my working life as a conservator of metal sculpture and decorative arts, with occasional forays into historical industrial objects, arms and armour.
Chance has been the main determining factor in my career; I was lucky to have failed an exam at the age of 11 which allowed me to go to a nearby school that promoted the arts. From there, despite not having adequate qualifications I was accepted into my home town’s art college, Leeds College of Art, which, happily for me was and is a leading British art school. At Leeds College of Art I developed an interest in the fabricated steel sculpture of Alexander Calder, David Smith, Anthony Caro and Philip King, so on completing the course I took jobs on engineering shop floors in order to increase my skills set, eventually becoming a welder/fabricator. Another chance a few years later had me meeting Eric Taylor, the Principal of the college, and a matter of days after that he was asked if he knew of anyone who could restore an eighteenth century sculpture. He suggested me and my career in conservation began.
I have always considered myself primarily as an artist, albeit one with an interesting and demanding day job, but now I have the opportunity to spend more time on creating artworks, so I consider myself as an emerging artist who has been a long time in gestation.