I have always had a love of metal; not seeing it sitting on the shelf or on the rack but using it. I love the way I can make it look and feel. Not harsh and cold like one would expect but fabric like, with movement, grace and very tactile. I also love having the ability of pulling the many beautiful colours from the depths of the material.
I used to work within an engineering company and this is how it was all made possible. One day I went to Southwold, saw a metal bird and muttered those fateful words “I could do that”. So on my return I set about creating one. That was it, I was hooked. In my spare time, using stainless and mild steel I created birds – Peacocks and Cockerels. Planters, Mirrors, Garden Benches and my favorite – a 10 foot tall stainless and mild steel Palm Tree. This was my focal point at an exhibition in London – Urban Gardens. I loved it. The smell when welding and the colour that I could magic onto the surface of the metal using heat, quenched my artisitc thirst. The transition of the material for me was all part of the experience. Although sculptural metal work doesn’t feature in my life at the moment, it does not mean my love of it is over.
On my way
On my quest to hone my skills and gain an understand of art, I dived head first into further education where after studying for 3 years I was taken in by another metal… Silver. I found this was much more manageable than 8 x 4 sheet steel, a 3 metre guillotine and Mig & Tig welders. I didn’t have to have an engineering workshop to create beautiful textured jewellery inspired by oceans, beaches and river banks. In 2010 I was seduced by a pair of 1940’s Stockings – these are the inspiration for a silver collection – Stocking Tops and Lace.
2012 saw a new range of men’s jewellery the inspiration this time? car and motorcycle engineering and mig welding. It was called Engineered to Perfection.
I can not wait to showcase my new inspired pieces at The Studio A full collection of pieces inspired from living on this beautiful Island I call home. All pieces are hallmarked with my own registered hallmark.
Over the past 2 years I have taken to working in Copper and Stainless steel again with commissions from a garden designer I collaborated with previously. I have also been very fortunate to exhibit my work at The Gallery Raasay. Now you can come and see me at The Studio Raasay. I look forward to welcoming you to my creative Hub!
Images and Content ©Barbara Martin