We talk to professional woodcarver and sculptor, Ian Bell about his passion for woodwork, Arbortech and his new found adventure with Sculptures at Killalea.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into wood carving and sculpture?
Years ago I lived in Tasmania and worked as a ship builder and gained lots of experience using every type of hand/power tool available .I was looking for something creative to do in my spare time and in 1995-96 completed an associate diploma in art craft and design and have been hooked on wood carving ever since.
How does your life of woodcarving compare to your life before? Do you ever miss you previous career’/s?
I have much more freedom now and can structure my days around creating artwork. As far as my previous career goes, it was a means to an end and has now allowed me the opportunity to pursue my passion.
What is the inspiration behind your work? Can you tell us a bit about your artistic style or technique?
I love nature and particularly the ocean and try to echo the shapes and patterns I see into my work. I would describe my style as free-form and try to always incorporate texture, form and contrast.
You have your own gallery now, how did that start?
I supply quite a few galleries with my work and have a gallery section on the website. It takes hard work and lots of time.
How have our (Arbortech) tools played a role in your sculpting process? Do you have a favourite tool?
I have been using the Arbortech woodcarving attachments on my grinders for many years and find that they allow me to move lots of material very quickly which means I have more time and energy to produce even more work. All the tools serve a purpose but if I had to choose a favourite…it would have to be the Industrial Woodcarver.
What is your favourite piece and why?
Hard question to answer…they are all my favourite pieces while I’m working on them because that’s when I’m learning the most as every piece has it’s challenges and no one piece is the same.
You are a co-founder of the Sculptures at Killalea festival that’s making its debut later this year in NSW. Has your passion for wood carving played a part in creating the Festival? Tell us what sparked this idea and what you hope to achieve with this event?
Definitely, and the idea to create this type of event stems from one thought, which was “How good would sculptures look in this beautiful area.” My hope is that people and particularly kids get that light bulb moment that starts them on their own journey with sculpture or any other creative pursuit.
To visit Ian’s gallery online: http://www.ianbellcreations.com.au/
To find out more about Sculptures at Killalea please visit http://www.sculpturesatkillalea.com.au/