Born overlooking the harbour in Falmouth, the sea has always been a huge influence on Nigel’s life but only recently, as a keen angler, has he begun to fulfil his lifelong dream of sculpting fish in steel.
Leaving school at 14, he served a traditional apprenticeship acquiring metal shaping skills working on car bodies as a panel beater. Later, working at Falmouth Docks as a production welder with Compair Holmans, he further honed these skills enabling him to bring these pieces of recycled steel to life.
Each of these wonderfully observed steel sculptures is individually formed by hand, giving each a different character and charisma. The colouring involves a difficult technique of tempering the steel which then blooms into the iridescent hues of the finished pieces.
Initially focusing on the iconic Cornish mackerel, Nigel has extended his range to include Garfish, Pollack, Gurnard (Smiler), John Dory and Pirhanna. His latest series of work has further stretched his talent to include ‘The Scrum’, a pair of duelling crabs spanning almost half a meter each, colliding together, crusher claws entwined.
Although every effort is made to protect these mild steel sculptures from the elements with lacquer, Nigel recommends that they are displayed mainly in interior locations.