I'm not sure whether the way I work is unusual, or common amongst artists - I'd love to see some comments about other's creative processes to see what is similar and what different.

I've been collecting interesting odds and ends for a long time, and pulling apart things to see whats inside and how they work since i was old enough to pick up a screwdriver.  LEGO was always my favourite toy, and I've spent hours building all kinds of things that were often very different from the picture shown on the box. I was also not afraid of taking a piece and modifying it to suit a purpose, or painting it a different colour or changing its shape. My LEGO box is full of chopped up, odd bits of lego, painted with model paints or nail polish, or bits glued to other bits in ways that break out of the inherent rectilinearity of standard LEGO.

My work now has its roots in all these things, combined with a love of the beauty all around me, but particularly in found objects, whether a rusting bottle cap, a found button, a piece of twisted wire, or a precisely manufactured machine part made to tolerances that boggle the mind.

I think it a very worthwhile exercise to take these objects that many people dont even notice, or if they do they see only rubbish, and show them in a form in which that beauty is undeniable. I take a great delight in seeing someone examine a piece I've made, and then observing their own surprise and unexpected delight when the details of the parts used is revealed. As such, the story of the parts - what they are, where they were found, how they were fitted together into the piece - is an important part of each piece. Every piece has a story, and the two combined is a much more interesting and powerful work than just the piece alone.

Works can come together very quickly, or float around my studio in various forms for years. I keep a lot of parts in transparent boxes with many compartments, but an almost equally large number of parts float around loose on desks and benches - my 'working pile' of interesting bits, which is constantly turning over, reforming and moving, from which many new pieces spontaneously seem to arise.

Another aspect of my process that has become more and more important is the idea of a gift. When people think of gifts and presents, the things that readily come to mind are toys, household goods, money, that kind of thing. But the gift of surprise, of wonder, of story and history - these are the potentials of gifts that I like, and the aspects I hope that my pieces, when given, evoke. The best thing about these aspects is that they never run out or are used up. When someone notices an interesting piece being worn, the wearer gets to pass on the gifts again.

I love commission work. It gives me the chance to work with someone to create something special, and specific to them. If you bring someone into the creative process with you, the piece means all the more to them, and becomes a more integrated part of their own self-expression. Not to mention the fun. I love it when people come and play.

Most of all though, I love being inspired or challenged by someone. As such, I tend to swap a lot of my work with other artists (of all kinds) for pieces of their own work - whether it be jewellery, sculpture, drawing or painting, music, or something else entirely. Some of my best work has come about in this way. Pieces like ma that I traded Richard Chartier for some unreleased music. Or Trust, that was born from a desire to payback and multiply the trust shown by Martina Oelinger when she gave me a piece of her own beautiful work on nothing more than the promise of something worthwhile in return. And rarest of all is when someone does something extraordinary that inspires me to spontaneously hand over a piece like Two Landscapes, or create a piece like Courage.

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