From Bugattis to butterflies. The road to Aluminiumart
It takes a little time to get a grasp of Aluminiumart. On first sight people often say “Ooh, that’s a bit different” and they are quite right. Put “aluminium holly wreath” into google and only one result comes up, with a link to this website. Not that anyone would search for such a thing in the first place which poses a problem for me and my marketing. Reading this you may have already seen my work or someone has told you about it, so thank you for getting this far. It’s not quite over yet as seeing photos on a website don’t really do my products justice. You cannot appreciate how lightweight my bracelets are from a description. By all means keep an eye on the “News” tab to find out where I will be exhibiting next or the “Store Location”, or follow on Facebook .This website is slowly evolving as too do my products, although my skills lie with a hammer and not a keyboard.
My first job was as a coachbuilder in the late 80’s making body panels from scratch. The first test piece I was set was to make a set of Bugatti mudguards. I passed and went on to be involved with some great projects over the years. I subsequently studied Automotive Engineering Design and entered the mass production environment as a Quality Engineer. Involved with prototype vehicles (Aston Martin DB7, MGF, Rolls Royce etc) and engineered parts I gained valuable skills along the way. This is the background to where my practical skills have come from. I combine skills from old and new to create unique and beautiful pieces.
Inspiration for products comes from many areas.
Developed after missing out on my favourite flower blossoming due to having to take holidays from engineering in the first 2 weeks of August. Upon return I found the last petals falling off. After my sister introduced me to a silversmithing technique I realised I could recreate the lily and it would last. I utilise coachbuilding techniques to shape the aluminium to give it a more intriguing feature. My butterflies, that sway in the wind due to the correct choice of flexible yet tough stem, catch the light from many angles making an interesting garden ornament. House numbers are effective at allowing people to see from a distance. Sculptures can be made to order or can select a whale tale or a wave feature for instant impact in the garden. Christmas items range from a holly wreath, table decoration and tree decorations which are all built to last rather than throwing away each year.
Approached by a gallery owner who said "maps are on trend at the moment , can you produce a map of London?" I slept on it for some time. As a northerner all I could think about was the shape if the M25, not too inspiring and why should London get all the focus. Hence the UK and Ireland map.
There are garden ornaments with interest and extra features but usually in materials that degrade. With polished aluminium as a starting point and my daughter's favourite creature the butterfly was created. The first ones were ineffective as I had used my normal coach building techniques to create a body panel like smooth, compound curved surface. When placed into the ground it seemed to disappear as it took on the colours it's surroundings as it was too smooth and acted like a mirror. Against years of experience, I had to create something more eye-catching and so resulted in using the planished technique. Now every hammer mark must be seen. Light catches from many angles giving more interest. And when the wind blows... needs to be seen to be appreciated.
This is detailed on the product page but essentially developed as my mother resented throwing away a wreath each year. So I made her an everlasting one with a difference of course.
Ashby arts festival had its theme of "children's books" in 2015. I chose one of my and children's favourite books "The whale and the snail". A copying exercise but has led to the popular eye-catcher Whale tail.
Car body panels can be visions of beauty with their sweeping curves. But why limit this to a car kept in a garage? Have one in the garden to see all the time.
"The postman's best friend". When looking for an address it's always appreciated when someone has got a house number that is easy to see. There aren't that many however and most don't even satisfy councils' minimum standard sizing (number plate letter height). Keeping it simple there are A4 numbers on A3 backing or A5 numbers on A4. You don't even need a tape measure to measure up. Just hold up piece of paper to check Thanks to customers feedback, my products are continually improving, developing and being introduced. Give me a story to work with and we can create something unique. Please do get in touch.
Where does it happen?
Working from my studio from the heart of the National Forrest, Ashby de la Zouch, I aim to create pieces of art for all to enjoy. I take pleasure in working with aluminium due to its longevity; maintaining its original colour and beauty as it ages. It is possible also for you to make your own and have a go at planishing techniques to make your own butterfly or even a bracelet. Thank you for taking the time to look into what is done at Aluminiumart. Please take a look at the online store or to get in touch with any requests or for further information.