Company Name: James Lomax
Approx Annual Turnover: £30,000
I make contemporary artwork, generally in the format of sculpture and installation. The work is political and provokes questions and situations through the recontextualising of found objects, changing their materiality, function and meaning.
Key markets and customers are private collectors, public galleries and museums and these are based both in the UK and overseas.
I wanted to work with materials that were outside of my current language or understanding. This meant working with outside fabricators, something I had never done before, all of my work has always been made on my own in my studio. It was important to me that I worked with industry fabricators as opposed to an ‘art fabricator’ as I wanted the sculptures to be made in a way that was sympathetic to them as industrial objects, not sympathetic to their being as artworks.
This meant that I needed to learn the technical language of 3D drawing and prototyping so that I could speak with people in industry and not be turned away (relative to most of the projects these fabricator work on mine brings in very little money so I needed to make it as easy for them as possible).
I also wanted to learn to use processes for rapid prototyping such as CNCing and 3D printing to make my current processes for time efficient and less wasteful in terms of material waste.
PROCESS OF INNOVATION
The process has been a very positive experience. I learned to use Fusion 360, taking a month long course with Chris Hay from STEAMhouse. We learned to draw and design using fusion 360 software.
I then was able to prototype new sculptures by drawing them and render them as digital images, allowing me to make editing decisions early on in the process meaning that I did not make works which I would then not use for future exhibitions.
I was able to show these drawings to fabricators and provide them with these technical drawings for them to then produce the sculptures.
My biggest challenge was finding an iron foundry to work with. This was because of the small amount of income that I would bring them but also because they are not used to working with non-industry people. I over came this by presenting highly detailed technical drawings that I had learned to create through STEAMhouse.
SOURCE OF SUPPORT
I have received incredible support from STEAMhouse, both financial, formal and informal. It has been great to have the sounding boards of Sophia, Chris, Ruth, Sarah and Paul, it has made an incredible difference through the development of my practice and innovation in creating new forms of sculpture.
I have created four new large cast iron sculptures. These have opened up my ambitions as an artist and allowed me to engage in new materials and processes that were previously outside of my reach.
There has been much interest in these works and consequently they are to be publicly exhibited on the Canary Wharf Estate from August until the end of this year, opening up more opportunities for me as a business in the future.