Sketches in Steel

Andrew Kay captures the life of the animal in his sculpture art


Andrew Kay
12 mm square mild steel bar, 950 mm high x 220 mm wide x 500 mm deep


LEARNING FROM MISTAKES “After a B.A. degree from Leeds, England, in design and engineering, I set up a workshop and learned from making lots of mistakes! I started making dragon toasting forks that I sold at my local squash club. Then, I just experimented for years, making one-off designs, until I realized wildlife sculpture was my bag.”

LIFE IN THE WILD “We are very fortunate to live up in the wild moorlands of Cumbria, where the nearest neighbor is over a mile away. I converted an old barn where we live and work. When we shut the workshop down at night all goes quiet, and that is when we can start to glimpse the wildlife around us. Deer can be seen in the wood above the barn, herons and kingfishers by the stream, and I am still trying hard to make friends with a clattering of jackdaws who live in three sycamores by the workshop.”

CAPTURING A MOMENT “I love the wild animals’ self-sufficiency and awareness. I love the huge variety of species. It’s all about trying to capture the life of the animal. The instant when a hind looks up from chewing the grass and spots you, the absolute stillness and concentration of the heron about to spear a fish.”

METAL MENAGERIE “Form and posture is what I’m after while trying to keep the sculpture quite minimal. I predominantly use mild steel bar in various thicknesses—it is quite soft and forgiving to work, while having permanence. We use pre-WWII hydraulic presses to cold-forge the pieces and then MIG welders to connect them all together.”

NEXT Kay is completing a series of commissions including deer, horses, a phoenix  and a 12-foot regal dragon.

Categories: Artists & Artisans