…came from my plumbing resources as I always had an abundance of copper piping so there was always a lot of material to work with… in fact, one of my first sculptures was a Flamingo made from 100-year-old toilet parts.
After my car accident back in the early 90’s I suddenly felt the urge to start welding artistically and starting playing around with the copper pipes and without any art training, it felt really natural for me to pick up my torches and start creating life-size creatures.
As I continued it became clear that I could create anything. So I started to get bigger with the creatures. Sharks took over, in fact in San Fransisco I soon became known as ‘The Shark Man’ and all over my warehouse outside on the Streets of San Fransisco hung all of my creatures. It became a local landmark and I became a local celebrity. After winning a Microsoft Competition where I created a Copper Cat with a Microsoft Mouse hanging out of his mouth it became clear that this was a talent and skill I wanted to pursue more seriously.
When arriving in London in 2002 I was featured in some Galleries in London Micky Tiroche Fine Arts Gallery and Jeremy Wallers Primavera Gallery in Cambridge. We were becoming local celebrities in London for The 18ft tall life-size Giraffe had become a landmark in North London and The Local Press featured us as ‘The Shark Man in North London’.
More recently we have appeared on Channel Four’s successful show ‘Four Rooms’ which will be aired in April 2013. Where we sold ‘The Shiny Copper Octopus’ to a renowned and famous interior designer Shaun Clarkson who is the owner of Shaun Clarkson ID Interiors and also of an eclectic and chic shop in Shoreditch London called Pitfieds of London. The Copper shiny Octopus will be showcased in London’s famous store Selfridges this winter.
At this point in my career, I would love to be commissioned to build an Elephants Head and also my daughter who is five and is obsessed with Dinosaurs and is pleading with me to build a Brontosaurus. However, I am a little concerned what my neighbours will feel about that!
Copper has been said to be a non-weld able alloy. I have proven that theory to be incorrect. Although it is complicated when achieved it has an amazing effect. Over the years the elements outside the Copper becomes weathered and changes an array of colours from early stages of greys and light greens to very light stages of turquoise greens and blues. However, if preferred can be polished to almost a copper-gold appearance and shiny like a mirror. Either displays an amazing look and it is a matter of preferred personal choice.
Even though an Elephants head is my next personal challenge I would be prepared to tackle anything from creatures of the sea, jungle or sky, copper gates or doors or anything that anyone wishes. Any challenge was undertaken.
I have always been a plumber since I was a young man, in fact, it was my Grandfather who taught me the skilled plumbing trade. It was back in the early 90’s that my career did a massive detour due to a car accident in San Fransisco, California that sadly put me into the hospital with serious injuries and into a coma for a short period.
Upon waking up and whilst in a long recovery I was in my Plumbing Shop in San Fransisco and decided to weld a set of Sharks Teeth for my lawyer who was acting on behalf in the case against the accident. Due to the longevity of the case, the shark teeth that was representing the Lawyer took so long I ended up creating the entire shark. A 12ft long Thresher Shark.
From that point, my juices started to flow and I just couldn’t stop. After the Thresher Shark came the Great White, The Hammer Head, The Flamingo, The Moray Eel. The Octopus, The Ant, The Manta Ray, The Blow Fish, The Cat, The Golden Gate Bridge, The Cactus, The Gargoyle, The Angel Fish, The Globe and the 18ft Giraffe.
All my sculptures are made from copper pipe mainly recycled from my plumbing scraps from my Plumbing company. They are all life-size anatomically correct.
I was born and raised in San Fransisco California, and after graduating from High School began my career as a Plumbing Contractor and a building Contractor. I never have had any art training and all of my creations are completely self-taught.”