Rob Day’s Moving Art
The Huths meet with metal sculptor and woodturner Rob Day of New England woodturning and marvel at his detailed art
So many people recommended we see Rob Day, so we did. We arrived and he was in his workshop doing some heavy metal work. He stopped, we all said G’Day and spent a wonderful afternoon talking about his artwork and his life. When Rob was a kid he used to spend a lot of time with his father in the workshop. It was just what he did and from a very early age making things from wood came easily. This was backed up throughout his school life because he really only liked sport and woodwork.
Once he left school he just kept on doing what he liked – making things from wood. And not just anything. His work is meticulous, the attention to detail is never ending. When we had a look at some of his woodwork, we were left speechless. His ‘heavy machinery ’works. By that I mean when he made a tractor, every part of it works as it would on a real tractor. This was particularly amazing with his articulated truck. He has also hand carved some gorgeous clocks, one of which has been keeping time for the last 25 years.
Take Home Art
A lot of this fine artwork isn’t for sale, but there are some things you can buy. His bolt action biro is one, while his collection of cheese axes and knives is huge. Everything he does with wood is beautiful and detailed. His large pieces are precise, he drafts them up – almost like following a pattern – to ensure they look realistic and work as they should. But, when you go and look at this other work, there’s no drafting and meticulous fine artwork here. This is totally freehand and anything he makes for his sculptures depends on what the spare bit of metal or unwanted broken equipment looks like. Rob doesn’t source something specifically to make something, he finds things and follows his vision of what it could end up being.
Rob started metal sculpting about 12 years ago and you can see that he has a sense of humour as it shines though. He has aliens, grass trees, big trees, monkeys, dogs, Halloween things, the list is endless. Some really stand out to me. The Trophy Hunters take a reverse stand on who is the Trophy Hunter, and I have to agree with Rob’s creation of the Deer’s antlers, they are perfect. The Repair Gang have an interesting take on the state of the purple car. What they are repairing and how they are doing it is interesting. One of the animals that I would have found room for in the van was the Emu. She or he is wonderful. The smile on the Emu’s lips is perfect and I really felt like stroking the chain feathers. In all honesty I did too, and it wasn’t quite as soft and feathery as I hoped! Scattered around the garden are faces carved into trees, and there are more faces back in the gallery.
However, there is one more side to this amazing man and his amazing talent and that is playing the Didgeridoo and Oddgeridoo. He makes all of these himself, and they are all different. But, he is an amazing player and makes them talk while they are playing. The variety of sounds, tunes and ‘words ’is awesome. The Oddgeridoo is one with a square base rather than a round or natural shaped one. Rob told me that one of the local Elders did the painting on the Oddgeridoo. There is one more Didgeridoo that has to be mentioned and that is the Steam Punk one. How to describe it? Well why not just let Rob play it for us! There is nothing better than seeing the result of a lifetime’s love for a person’s job. This is Rob’s job. It is his living. While he is lucky to be doing that, we are doubly lucky to be able to see his work and share it. New England Woodturning and Sculptures is open 9am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.