I’m always in the studio. I get here at seven in the morning and leave at six or seven in the evening. I just work through until I can’t do it any more. I take Saturday off and go up the hills with the dog, but I’m usually back here for a few hours on a Sunday. It took eight long years for the Kelpies to go from concept to completion. I was close to walking away many times. But I’m lucky enough to have a very dedicated and determined wife who told me to stick with it. Perseverance and tenacity are essential in this business. The brief didn’t specify a size, but I knew the sculptures had to be colossal. So I set about designing something that could be built on that scale. Several other options were ruled out because of engineering problems combined with the probable costs, and I steered the design towards what you see today. I’m always keen to point out that the Kelpies weren’t a solo effort. Amazing people such as Atkins and SH Structures were involved. Their methodology was so detailed and so exact that I had every confidence it would all fall into place. Actually making things with your hands is becoming quite unusual these days. I’m one of the dinosaurs, one of a dying breed, but I enjoy it and I think there’s a positive response to the skill involved.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 167-197, issue 100.
Interviews Judy Diamond
Photography Neale Smith