I studied to become an Architect at Melbourne University. After graduating and then travelling in Europe, I became a gallery director with my wife , Brenda. It was then that I touched clay for the first time. Realizing that I much preferred the tactile world of the sculptor, I began, then, to make my wildlife sculptures, almost exclusively of Australian birds and animals from clay.
After many solo and group exhibitions and numerous awards , I am both proud and humbled that my works bring pleasure to so many around the world.
I live in Melbourne and Apollo Bay, Victoria with my wife Brenda. We have been partners since University days. We have three sons; Ken, Joel and Liam and a growing family including Mel, Jess, Violet, Charlie, Sophie, Lachlan and Grace ; and numerous visitors to our garden; Satin Bowerbirds, Koalas,Wattle Birds, Rosellas, Magpies, Miners, Honey-eaters, Silvereyes, Thorn Bills and Lorikeets…
My principal material is a white firing RAKU clay. I use pencils, blades and skewers to sculpt. The pieces are finished with oxides, glazes, underglazes and stains. The “landscapes” are mallee roots, found object, farm objects and horse riggings. For the legs and feet I use wire and lead flashing. Bonds are made with metal pins and Araldite.
I begin with a selected “landscape” – either a farm object or mallee root – to suit the piece I am making. Often the mallee root itself will dictate the most suited animal or bird for it. The shaping process for me is the most enjoyable – the hands-on-clay feeling of the work. I will generally use 4H pencil as my principal tool.
MALLEE WOODS Eucalyptus socialis
Commonly known as Red or Grey Mallee. This small tree, usually with a number of stems arising from an extensive underground woody rootstock, form part of my sculptures. The Mallee root is found in mallee scrub regions on sandy soils in N.S.W. and Victoria as well as in WA.
Each root is debarked, boiled and then scrubbed by hand using a disinfecting cleaning solution to make sure there is no trace of ants, spiders or others nasties in the wood. The pieces are therefore fine to be exported overseas, and a certificate can be provided that describes the treatment of the wood – email email@example.com
The entire sculptures can be washed in warm soapy water and, when dry, the wood can be re-oiled with vegetable oil using a small brush.