Let me begin by saying that the photo to the right is not entirely representative.
Firstly it implies that I work with some real nasty stuff... and although there's plenty that you wouldn't want to breath in or ingest, the finished pieces are pretty inert i.e. you don't need a hazmat suit to wear my jewellery... though if you wear a hazmat suit you might consider commissioning some nice pieces to go with it. :-)
This photo was taken on an occasion when I was using a glass fibre pen to abrade a master for a finding. It's close up work (hence the optics) and when I'm that close, and generating dust that includes fragments of glass fibre... well I for one don't want to be breathing it in (hence the dust mask).
The photo was taken because I saw my reflection and thought I looked like something out of Star Wars (I'm cool with that), however one of my friends has since pointed out that the white parts of the dust mask look like the jaws of a giant spider. Thanks Phil, for the interrupted nights that have followed during which I dreamed I was turning into an arachnid. :-)
I was born in Manchester in 1965, although I don't remember much about it as I was very young at the time. My first memories are actually from around the time my sister was born, at the age of two (I was two, she was younger). If only my memory was as good as that implies.
Artistic and somewhat rebellious from an early age, I have never managed to shake off the story about the time I used the contents of my nappy to stage a "dirty protest" in my pram. Well if you're gonna deny a natural born artist access to so much as a crayon...
Despite having my artwork applauded throughout my school days, my parents saw no future in it and guided me towards a career in banking... which I stuck out for three years, mostly because it facilitated the purchase of synthesizers and other musical paraphernalia. I moved from the bank to a firm of insolvency practitioners (a branch of accountancy), from which I was sacked for "conduct likely to bring the firm into disrepute" (I got drunk). Possibly the best "career choice" I ever made. :-)
This allowed for a brief (about a year) stint at art college. At this time I was primarily interested in furniture design and mapped out a course of degree level study. But alas the student lifestyle does not allow for the purchase of synthesizers, airbrushes (another area of interest at the time), or very much of anything else.
Tempted by the money, or rather the things that it can buy (like a juicy steak), I switched to a career in I.T. a.k.a. Information Technology; currently known as I.S. (Information Systems), and formerly known as "computers". They change it every so often to shake off the stigmas: Millennium bug? Oh no, we're the IS department, that was those idiots in IT.
I actually got into computers at 15 (1980) with the arrival on the market of the first home computers. I wrote my first commercial database application 4 years later while still at the bank. Mathematics was one of my best subjects at school and I love the precise nature of computer code. People tell my they'd find it boring, but I just get lost in it.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, my career in IT ground to a halt in 1998 when I was struck with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)... with which I still struggle today.
Actually, that's not quote true: I don't "struggle" with it because you can't fight CFS and the best way to "manage" it is to go with the flow and work around it.
CFS makes it difficult to have fixed working hours and/or work to tight deadlines. However I can and do work around this by being self-employed. I create and host websites using a content management system that I have written myself and which I call System-3. I make models and model making parts, especially terrain related stuff. Early in 2014 I began making jewellery, and some of which can be found in my shop on this site.
I now work from home in Manchester. I've lived in prettier parts of the country but it's nice having access to busses that run after 6pm and cinemas that show more than one movie per month. It's rekindled my interest in movie related models and having being introduced to cosplay in 2015, I now also make props and costume pieces.
Prior to using this site for business purposes, I used it as a personal site, and created a number of pages about various things, both as reminders for myself, and so I could refer people to them when asked about things I've been involved with.
They are listed here for that purpose:
PLEASE NOTE that some of the above are a work in progress, out of date, and missing links to sub pages, as a result of the reconfiguration of this site. I intend to fix this, but it's not paid work so it's happening as and when I have time. Ask me if there's something in particular that intrigues you. :-)