3. Rustic Stem Ginger
By Chris Kampf
Rusted steel with oil finish
After taking a degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing, Chris designed jewellery for many years. He changed to making garden sculptures in 2011 and has been making striking steel structures based on natural forms ever since. His simple interpretation of leaves and buds in steel stand out well against a garden backdrop, on a lawn or with plants growing around them.
In their own words ...
Chris has created sculptures Rustic Stem Ginger (3), Grass Plumes (8) and Jungle Trail (18).
My work follows nature's beautiful designs, simplified to create eye catching architectural structures that suit both the traditional and modern garden. My stylised ferns and plant stems are unusual and their size gives them presence. The majority of my creations move pleasingly in the breeze.
My original inspiration came from ferns, but now the Somerset countryside plays a large part in my work - roadside verges packed with grasses, cow parsleys and teasels are all a great source of inspiration.
I use oxyacetylene and 'MIG' welding to produce my sculptures, which either have a highly polished or rusted finish. These are then oil coated, giving them a deep satin patina, which is both pleasing to the eye and tactile. All my sculptures contain some recycled steel from local builders.
After leaving Leicester Polytechnic with a degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing, I designed jewellery for several years. Moving to sculpture in the early 1990s led to the creation of 'Rex the Mouse', a welded cartoon mouse that took over my life for more than 20 years! I still make a few now for web orders, but at one time was making 100 designs a week and selling in galleries throughout the UK and Europe.
Since 2011 I have been working on garden sculpture, which has now completely taken over. In 2016 a new workshop and gallery at the end of the garden have given me some much needed space. Previously my work became larger than my shed, leading to alfresco welding!