October 2018

Time for another long overdue post.  I’ve made some interesting sculptures since my last posting.  I took on a challenging commission to create two large racing grasshoppers in double quick time for the new Oran Park library near Camden in western Sydney.  This used to be a rural area, but was known to me since I was a child for just one reason.  It had a car racing track.  All the big names raced there, and I used to rabidly read all about their exploits in my eagerly awaited, latest copy of ‘Racing Car News.’ I couldn’t get enough of that stuff when I was twelve years old.

The track is gone and the pastures are disappearing under houses, but there are still just enough paddocks of dry yellow grass about to give a feel for the history of the district. I wanted to pay tribute to both, that soon to be gone rural feel, and the rich racing history.  Those dry grassy areas make me think of grasshoppers, flies, locusts and Hereford cattle.  And Insects seem sort of mechanical, and built for a purpose. Form following function, like racing cars.  Well the ones I like anyway.


The Green Kawasaki Grasshopper


The three things I remember about Oran Park Raceway from when I was a kid were Formula 5000s, Lolas mostly, beasty V8 Sports Sedans, and the Six Hour Motor Bike races. For that young kid the most famous sports sedan in the land was the Norm Beechy Monaro. Yellow with red stripes and the number 4.  The Formula cars of the era had riveted aluminium sheet chassis, and I wanted to reflect that. Hence the riveted abdomens.  I wanted them to look like they could work like machines. I cut up a yellow Hyundai and found a green I liked on a Daihatsu. When I found a Kawasaki engine for the green one, it had to be given the late Greg Handsford’s race number 2.


Beechy Grasshopper



4.8 metres across the wings


The wings are made from glass car windows and they are pretty big sculptures. Getting the ok from the structural engineer, transporting them the 1000 kilometres to site, and hanging them was all a bit stressful, but I had the right people helping with these things and it all went without a hitch.  And on time.


Dusting down your Grasshopper


November marks ten years since my first U.K. Exhibition with John Davies Gallery in the Cotswolds. We’ll be marking that decade with another show that opens this coming weekend November 3.  Come and say hello.  I think this is the the 7th exhibition with John. All of the works are listed on his website.   www.johndaviesgallery.com         Jodie and I always enjoy a visit to this beautiful part of the world, and I love the break from our summer.  Summer here is great for swimming, but not so good for welding.  Actually as I write this it is still the last remnants of spring, which is normally beautiful here. Spring also means the snakes finish hibernating and hit the road.  I have had one rather sizeable visitor in my shed this year.  It fell from the roof beam in the storage loft one day, and landed at my feet…..Scared the S*@T out of me!  And it too, I think.  You don’t see them much, but they leave their shedded skins as evidence.  Really weird feeling stuff. This one was a biggie!


Snake skin left in my shed.


I have been experimenting with a couple of sculptures using a few things other than car parts alone.  I’m enjoying using a few new techniques and working with some different textures.  It’s a bit of fun really.  With my usual car subjects, I seem to be drawn to the early experimental, almost comical but lethal sort of cars, and oddly with these new textures I seem drawn too the early, crazy, flying experiments. Without a plane.


Ariel Recon Officer number 1


Gunter’s Flying Jacket


Ernest prepares to test his Flapping Machine.


We have a had a few changes this year.   Michael Commerford Gallery has moved to new premises at 219 Glenmore Road, the Five Ways in Paddington in Sydney’s east. The move is only recent and I haven’t been there yet, but I do know that cluster of shops is a lovely little hub in that community.  He has his painting studio upstairs and is thrilled to be working there.  There is not a lot of space for lots of my pieces but I hope to rotate works through there so that there is always something new every couple of months.


The Demolition Expert


One of my new experimental pieces is there. But it is not a flight attempt.  I found a fantastic little vintage tin in a junk shop in western NSW. It was a tin that detonators came in…..back in the days when you bought your dynamite at the General Store.  I made a piece called ” The Demolition Expert. ”   It also uses a wooden ignition coil from a T model Ford.  It reminds me of I someone that I have known, but I can’t work out who.  This Piece was the first of these experiments.






I also have just left a few pieces with JEFA Gallery in Byron St. Bangalow.  Just a stones through from the famous Byron Bay.  Julian there has been very keen to show some of my work. This is the first time in a long time that I have had work available to see in the flesh, north of Sydney. If you are in that beautiful part of the world pay him a visit.  It is a bit of a chore to go there to deliver sculptures, because you just can’t go there without going to see that magnificent view from the Cape…..and then you just have to go to the beach.  And then you just have to have an ice cream, and pretty soon the whole day is wasted.




Question…..What have I made that looks like one of my sculptures, is made from old car parts, and in reality is one of my sculptures, but will never be seen in an Art gallery?  Answer…My Hot Rod.  Well it’s not my Hot Rod now.  I never quite finished it.  Not enough time and too many other automotive distractions to keep me interested in it.  After considering the realities of that last sentence I decided that it had to go.  I put lots of time into fabricating and repurposing lots of bits and pieces. That car had almost no bits bought from a Hot Rod Shop, except for some fibreglass panels.  Another artist, Aden Jacobi, he draws Hot Rods and lives Hot Rods, is now the happy owner.  It was not quite finished when I said good buy to it. Very close though.  Aden has now finished it. His forte is not fabrication, his forte is patination, and he has fittingly continued with my direction of thinking outside the square, but hasn’t change the style from my original vision.  The car looks great now and he bought it around for me to take it for a drive.






I was really happy with how it drove.  Just like something from the 1950s.  Nice and relaxed and sort of effortless, but definitely not like a new car. One of my two drivable sculptures.  The other is the old ” Toad hall Special ” that I used to race.  It is sleeping in one of my sheds.



Paddy’s Tractor






March 2018

Well there has been a fair bit of water under the bridge since my last post.  Biggest news is that my wife Jodie has just launched her website www.thesculptorswife.com     She has set up an online shop to sell high quality limited edition prints of my sculptures.  They look excellent! They come in two standard sizes, but can be special ordered in lager sizes.  Have a look at her site.







The other thing that she will be selling is my long awaited book.  It is still a couple of months away, but I have devoted a fair chunk of time toward it over the last few months.  This sort of thing actually takes a lot more time than you might realise. I have hundreds and hundreds of images of my sculptures.  Picking out my favourites has been bad enough, but then placing them in a balanced and pleasing manner has been a  challenge.  On top of that I have written out quite a few of my thoughts about being an Artist, and about how I go about my work.  It is a bit confidence boosting to go through all those photos.  It was nice to take some time to remind myself of some of the nice pieces I’ve made. Here are a couple of them….. Just for your entertainment.







August seems like a long time ago now, but that was when we travelled to Bruges in Belgium for my exhibition at nearby Knokke.  Bruge was a lovely place to stay.  A little crowded in the centre, but beautiful, and you only need to go a little way away from the centre and it is very quiet. By all reports the beach at Knokke was not as crowded as it should have been.  All I can say is that the beaches there, and the way people use them, is very different from the beach here.  The beach is covered with little private hut things, pop up restaurants, noisy bars, and large inflatable animals. I think we are spoilt by our beaches where I live.




In one of my earlier posts, I made reference to Jodie wanting to ride a Vespa scooter around in rural Italy.  Well we didn’t get to Italy but we did manage to hire a Vespa in Bruge.  Disappointingly they wouldn’t let Jodie have one of her own. The fellow was very laid back but was not convinced that she had enough experience.   She rode pillion behind me until we got out into the countryside, on the fantastic little roads and canal paths, and then I let her take control while I sat on the back.  I wasn’t even scared.  There just needed to be a few more Italians around and we could have ticked a box for her.  It was a really fun day.


Actually I loved the bike culture there, and even more so in Amsterdam. We had a few days there recovering from the loooonnng flight before driving down to Bruge.  It is fantastic to see everyone of all ages on their pushbikes, and the car drivers are respectful of their presence, not resentful like they can be here.  I guess that is because everyone that drives a car probably also rides a bicycle.  You can see the kids and teenagers there are so independent, getting themselves around with their sports gear or such. It is easy and safe for them to get from one side of town to the other.  None of the queues of SUVs transporting kids from school to sport to home.  It was really refreshing.





My latest bike sculpture was a Dakar Rally Raid bike.  In Belgium I sold a sculpture of a Flat Track Bike to a very nice fellow who had actually raced a bike several times in the Dakar when it was still in Africa.  He did it Iron Man style with no support.  This has to be one of the toughest sporting challenges left in the world.  If you have never tried to hang on to a bucking dirt bike for hours, and drag it out of a bog or push it on a rocky hill side you could never understand how fatiguing  it must be.  I have done these things and I am in complete awe of how they can do this all day, and sometimes all night, for days on end.  And remember a lack of concentration will almost certainly mean injury or worse.  We had a great conversation about dirt bikes and buggy racing even though we could not speak each others language. Our gesticulating would have been very amusing from a distance.



In November I have another Exhibition with John Davies Gallery in Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds.  It is a few years since I have done a show with John, so I am looking forward to it.  Put it in your diary.




July 2017

At last I’m getting to another post!  I have had plenty going on as usual. I have just finished two life sized pieces for Sydney Motorsport Park.  This is a fitting permanent home for some of my work.  I am hoping that their patrons will get a bit of a kick out of my racers.  The two pieces go together to portray a race between an early vintage three wheeled Morgan, and a similarly early era racing motorcycle.  These pieces are at the same time, both very different to my normal subjects, yet are still very much my signature style of subject. Early Bikes and Three Wheelers are some of my favourite subjects, but this is only the second time I have done a car sculpture even close to this scale, and the motor bike is a first. Things on this scale are harder than they look.


The Racing Morgan

To make these pieces work, I had to find a balance between using real car bits in the right places, and using other wrong car bits not in the right places.  I couldn’t have it looking like a real car, but nor did I want it looking like little bits of junk welded together to give the shapes.    It could easily end up an unappealing mess. I decided to make some parts of the finished product relatively ‘ normal ‘ car and make other parts the artistic features.  The engine, the tyres, and of course the driver were to be the features.  It always tests your brain a bit working to a scale different to what you have become used to, and this means thinking about a whole set of parts that I would not use in a smaller car sculpture.  The trade off  ‘easy bit ‘ to this scale is that I can easily get a volunteer to model the driver or rider’s posture and dimensions.

Tom the Artist’s Model


Jodie the Artist’s Model


I get in on the act. It actually felt pretty comfy. I wished it could go.


I had a bit of fun with the details on these large scale works. The ‘ Turbo engine in the Morgan ‘ is literally a turbo, the ‘ Gear Box ‘ on the bike is a box of gears, and the gauge on the bike reads decibels. Back in the day, real race bikes would have had no problem registering lots of them.  I also had some fun with the rider’s shoes. I noticed that in some of the old photos of these guys at Brooklands they are racing in lace up dress shoes.  Probably their only pair of shoes, made to last by a skilled tradesman.


The real rider


Bike detail



Morgan detail




Going for a ride


In August I will be having my first Solo Exhibition with Robinson’s art gallery in Knokke Belgium.  The show opens on Saturday the 12th.  If you are in that part of the world please come and have a look.  There will be some very nice pieces in the exhibition


My lounge room full of sculptures waiting to be sent to Belgium.


‘ Obsolete Machine ‘ 1 and 2


Number 15


Assorted Circus Performers


Lady Shopper


I often get asked if I draw my sculptures before making them.  Generally the answer is no.  Usually I just get a firm picture in my mind of what I want to achieve.  My mind’s picture is probably about the imagining the subject’s character more than how the resulting sculpture will look.   On occasions though, I will do some very quick sketches to firm up the subject’s stance in my mind.  Really basic.  Here is one for the ‘ Obsolete Machine.’

My ‘ Obsolete Machine ‘ thinking with a pen.


The result !


A random dog idea


Drawing is something that I like to do, but rarely find the time.  One day I will make time to do some paintings.  One day out of the blue I’ll put together an exhibition of Motor Racing inspired two dimensional art….Just because I want to……Maybe.  Oddly, even though I usually don’t for sculptures, I think I would do preliminary sketches of paintings.  Below are some I did in my little note book that I record my sculpture dimensions in.  Like doodling in your school books.


Oldfield’s Blitzen Benz


Auto Unions

One more note on old car stuff.  My T Model Speedster project got moved from one shed to the other to make some room for me to build the Morgan and Bike. It was nice to see it from further away than two metres. It is also the first time that I had fitted those big skinny wire wheels.  I got all very enthused.  After the DS is finished maybe.


Speedster….sort of


” Orang Utang “

This life sized Orang-Utan is back at Michael Commerford’s Sydney Gallery.  She features a 1930’s De Soto grill and lots of other interesting parts.  A nice big sculpture.





December 2016



Well, Happy Christmas everyone.  Another year done, and another long overdue post from me. I hope some of you are still bothering to check on this page every so often, in the vain hope that I will have put up something new for you to see.  I won’t bore you with the same old excuses, but I will say that at times 2016 has been very challenging for me personally.  Probably one of the two hardest years that I have had since becoming a sculptor full time sixteen years ago.  Back in 2008 we had the GFC and everyone stopped buying everything.  In 2016 people buying my works was not the problem.  It was me making them.  After doing this for eighteen years, and always going flat out, trying to keep my galleries happy, and being me, never wanting to say ‘ no ‘ to any exhibition or commission……I hit the wall.

I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I had to have a break….or at least take it a bit slower until I could get my head back in the sort of space it needed to be.  I like to work fast.  I had to learn to work a bit slower.  I still made some nice pieces but I had to learn to slow down.  A lesson learnt.


Green Grasshopper


Here are a few more recent pieces. I have always liked Board Track Racing bikes as subjects, and have wanted to do a Sidecar Board racer for some time. This is a reasonably large piece and I liked it a lot.  Those tyres are headlight rims from 1940s Ford army trucks. They are perfect for that.


Board Track Sidecar Racer


Continuing with the theme, Vintage Racing Machines, here is another early Brooklands style racer. When I struggle to create a nice piece, my fall back is always one of these early racers. I have an affinity with them that builds my confidence in what I can do.  Self confidence in what you can do is a really important part of being an Artist. This piece

is 95 cm long and available through Michael Commerford Gallery in Sydney.


Longtail Brooklands Racer


Red Vespa


I had a bit of fun making this one. My wife Jodie wants to ride one of these things around the villages of rural Italy.

Our sons are horrified at the thought.

Coming up with a subject can sometimes be difficult.  Sometimes the parts inspire me and other times it is just things around me. Just down the road from my home is quiet beach. Not a classically beautiful Australian beach, but a nice place to walk.  Our old dog loved it when he was alive.  This beach has thousands of Soldier Crabs.  Fantastically alien looking little crabs about 25mm in size. Mine was much, much, bigger than that.  Those blue bits are VW Beetle tail light housings.


Soldier Crab


The inspiration


One of the other things that made this year difficult was the loss of my father. He did not have an artistic bone in his body, but was always proud of whatever I did.  He had suffered with deteriorating dementia for more than a decade and never really got to understand the success that I have had.  He died on his eighty second birthday.  Thanks Dad, for everything, and Rest In Peace.


My Dad a long time ago


Right now I have some some fresh pieces in an Exhibition with Robinson’s Art Gallery in Knokke Heist, Belgium. I have a Great Dane Dog there that I really like, and some other very nice pieces, including a nice big Tricolour Rooster inspired by the French Rugby Team Mascot.  The Green Octopus is another of my favourites there.


Great Dane Dog


Tricolor Rooster


Green Octopus


Getting nice old characterful parts is not always easy.  I almost had a great opportunity a few months back, even if it came about in a bit of a sad way. Back when I used to deal in second hand french car parts, before I had discovered that I could make these sculptures, I knew a chap that had a small scrap yard and workshop, full of classic french cars. What had been a successful business many years ago slowly turned turned into a hoarding disorder for this man until eventually he could not bear to sell anything.  Over the years everything turned to junk, and the business that didn’t sell anything ate away his life savings and assets. His premises got repossessed and sold, complete with all the junk. The new owners wanted the rubbish gone.  I spent a day there clambering amongst the wrecks getting bits and pieces, too far gone for any restoration use. When I had finished the new owner asked a silly four figure sum for a van load of rubbish.  I didn’t go back for another shafting.  It will all be bulldozed by now.  What a shame.


Sad Peugeot 203. Part of a sad story.


On a brighter note the one thing I found there that was actually not junk, was a spare front bumper for my Citroen DS Safari restoration. I had to remove it from a rusty sedan, on it’s belly, in long grass, with it’s front up against a fence. What fun that wasn’t.  Every time I wanted to give up, I had to remind myself how rare a straight one of these is.  My DS has progressed quite well, and was good therapy when I was having my ” writer’s block.”  I need to do the interior next.  Hopefully I can fit air conditioning to it.


My Safari looking more attractive


Something else French



February 2016




Well it is official. I hate computers. It has taken me quite some time, months in fact, to work out how to get back into my site to add another post. I am a pretty instinctive person and can work most things out, but for some reason I just have no feel for these wretched machines. My son looks at me like I am simple. Anyway, that is my excuse this time…..But as usual I have still been very busy.

Since my last post I have been busy making a commissioned Dragon from new parts for a Car Parts supply company. That was a little different, because I was more limited with available shapes than is usual, and all the parts came in boxes, and so I couldn’t get much of a feel for what I had to work with when I was forming ideas.

Lots of boxes

Lots of boxes


Turned into a Dragon

Turned into a Dragon

In the lead up to Christmas I had a half dozen pieces with a new ( to me ) gallery in Belgium that was having a ” Wheeled themed Exhibition “. This was Robinson’s Art gallery in Knokke Zoute. It looks like I will be doing some more work with them later in the year. Here are a couple of the pieces that sold there.

I love the Blitzen Benzes

I love the Blitzen Benzes


The Giant Racing Fiats are always a favourite of mine

The Giant Racing Fiats are always a favourite of mine

They still have a few more pieces available should you be in that part of the world.





The other thing that is happening this week is the opening of my latest Exhibition at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert California. It opens this weekend and I have a lot of nice pieces there. The Polar Bear Cubs that have been displayed at the Philadelphia Zoo are for sale in this exhibition. You can read about them in my earlier posts. Unfortunately I will not make the opening this time due to my wife being a little unwell. A pity. The people are always friendly there, and the light and shadows on the mountains are beautiful. We will make it there for the next one. Actually a really moving thing happened at one of my previous exhibition openings at Coda. Jodie and I were talking with guests and visitors to the gallery as is usual, when I spoke with an Aboriginal lady, I suspect the only Aboriginal lady in Palm Desert, who had been passing by and was drawn in by my work in the window. When I spoke, she quietly gasped, ” Your Australian ” and began to cry. She had married an American serviceman visiting Australia when she was very young, and never had the opportunity to return home. The sound of our accents ( Jodie’s is stronger than mine ) triggered some sort of really strong emotion. All three of us teared up. As it turned out she had grown up very near to where Jodie did. We had a nice chat and she said that she was so, so happy that she had decided to come into the gallery and get a little taste of home. You can see all of the works on Coda’s website, but here are a few.





Blue Flat track Racer

Blue Flat track Racer





Mercedes Light Penguin

Mercedes Light Penguin


Langhorne Racer

Langhorne Racer


American Cruiser

American Cruiser


" Orang Utang " Lifesized Coda Gallery  U.S.A.

” Orang Utang ” Lifesized Coda Gallery U.S.A.

On other things, all my flooring is done.  So foolishly, I celebrated by buying another old car. After justifying if to myself by reminding myself that our other cars only have two seats, and grand children might be on the horizon, and I don’t like Jodie’s car being in shopping centre car parks, and …and..etc.  The truth is that I was inspired by reading Andre Lefebvre’s biography, and decided that what I really needed in my life was a Citroen DS Safari wagon. I wonder about myself sometimes. They are pretty rare now, but I did find a relatively rust free example, in a really really ugly faded dirty beige colour.The rust free bit did not include the relatively rust full tailgates, and right hand doors. As you do with these things, I have shed some blood pulling it apart, so that I can then shed more blood to reassemble it in a much more attractive manor.


Floors done, what over ambitious project next?

Floors done, what over ambitious project next?


I know, an old worn out version of the world's most complicated and rust prone car

I know, an old worn out version of the world’s most complicated and rust prone car