Originally from the Lake District, England, Vince emigrated to Western Australia in 1994 where Perth has remained his home. An artist, inventor, musician, Vince’s creative genius is nothing short of incredible. He has a background in prop and model making in the film and TV industry. Most notably, he worked as a props maker on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Vince’s art and sculpture embraces the Steampunk ethos with a special interest in using reclaimed materials. You can catch Vince’s Steampunk shark hanging in Little Creatures Brewery, Fremantle, an incredible sculpture made entirely from recycled materials. The Steampunk Dalek is a remarkable interactive art piece created by Vince in 2016 and has been a highlight at Steampunk exhibits and festivals. Vince’s art processes and mediums include: wood carving and sheet metal plating, metal work, moulding and casting (clay, resin and metal), laminating of composites and multi medium experimentation.
If you’d like to see Vince and his art up close, come by and say hi to him and the Arbortech team at the upcoming Timber, Tools and Artisan Show in Brisbane. Vince has got plenty of fun activities planned for everyone!
How did you get into working with wood?
I was first inspired by wood at school in the north of England, one of my first woodwork projects being a desk for my bedroom for which I used an old wardrobe door as the top surface. I have been interested in recycling wood and other materials since. When I came to Australia in 1994, I was employed as a props maker and set builder, creating film sets mostly out of pine and plywood and it was during this time I discovered the Arbortech Wood Carver Blade. This was a creative turning point for me as i was now able to quickly create beautiful curves and organic shapes.
How did you develop the skill base to do the work that you do?
I have gathered a lot of experience from a diverse range of industries. Working as a props maker in the film industry as well as my studies in product design has exposed me to a variety of mediums but my broad skill base is essentially built from an utter compulsion to manifest what I see in my mind with my hands.
What inspires your creations?
Pareidolia! I see images within the medium, for example I might see a torso in a tree stump. The materials speak to me and spark a magical transformation that evolves into a creative sculptural work. Like many artists, there is also a significant emotive element, often with the need to communicate, which inspires me to create.
What would you tell your younger self starting out on your artistic journey?
“Vince! For the sake of humanity … destroy the time machine!”
Make fewer compromises and listen to your artistic soul urge.
Do you sell your work?
Yes. My website showcases many art works which are for sale. I really enjoy commissioned work, especially when the client shares a passion for the creative process too and I can play a part in manifesting their dreams in the form of a bespoke project.
What is your favourite Arbortech Tool and why?
The TURBO Plane, simply because it is such a productive tool, it enables me to shape wood extremely quickly and the finish is so good that there is very little additional work required to complete the desired surface. The speed which it removes bulk areas of material is staggering! The Mini Carver and the Ball Gouge are also high up on my list because of their versatility. The Mini Carver enables me to do more of the intricate work.
If you were a type of wood what would you be and why?
Seriously, this question had me stumped … but if I were a type of wood it would have to be recycled wood. The less trees we cut down, the better.
How do you like to spend your time when you are not working with wood?
I like to work with a variety of metals. My current artistic urge embraces the ‘Steampunk’ ethos; the exquisite marriage of brass, copper, leather and wood in the manifestation of Victorian Futurism. Recycling is one of my passions and I spend a lot of time collecting items and materials to re appropriate. And when I am not creating art work, I am more than likely playing music.
Made from recycled items of copper, brass, steel, leather and the occasional windscreen wiper, standing at over 2 metres, the Steampunk Dalek is a Steampunk rarity, piloted from an internal cockpit via display screens, cameras and joysticks, Jemima the Steampunk Dalek delivers everything you would expect from a Dalek and more! Jemima has a top speed of 6kmh and her inner workings include; cooling fans, microphones and a sound system with authentic ring modulation indiscernible from the Mooga Fooga effect on the original Dalek voice!
For more awe inspiring projects and information about this talented artist, follow Vince Austin here