I like to think of my engravings as a way of weaving light and shadow together. I discovered how by twisting the grinder in opposing directions as I cut, produced different tones and textures through light hitting the metal at different angles. Many people have commented upon how three dimensional the engravings seem. Well, they are three dimensional in a sense, and although I am working with very small differences in depth, I am still quite amazed at how natural light then transforms them.A good example of seeing how the colour enriches this woven effect and looks a part of the metal is ‘The Cawkeld Poplars’ (2015).
This line of fast growing trees that are planted all along a narrow lane that runs between the villages of Watton and Kilnwick, were planted within living memory of the farmer whose potatoes I was helping to lift in late September, the story came up when I mentioned I’d made some pencil sketches to do an aluminium etching. His grandma had been asked to replace a hedge with a long pole fence, but she’d objected, saying how ugly the poles would look. Mark, the farmer, told me he remembers help plant the same trees with her, making the poplars no more than forty years old.‘Sun is low she grazes hedges, and blooms with dazzling green rays through gaps of sky in the poplars. It’s like the last pause of Autumn colour before the drab and soggy edges of the coming winter seep into our spirits;…The mist hangs heavy like fruit upon the trees.’