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Mike Wilkins uses salvaged wood, reclaimed steel, and unusual finds to create furniture, art & sculpture at his Uxbridge Ontario studio. "People don't have to look at art as something costly. Art is everywhere if you just look at things from a different angle. Industrial areas are brimming with amazing design and beautiful lines. You just need to look at things in a slightly different way to see it".
- Interviewed by Lesley Wilkins
Q. WHEN DID YOU FIRST START CREATING ART?
Last Friday. Everything before that was just an accident.
Q. TELL US ABOUT THE FIRST PIECE THAT YOU WERE REALLY HAPPY WITH.
20 odd years ago I began customising motorcycles. THAT was art I was really happy with. I did it for the sheer pleasure of "making shit".
Q. WHAT MEDIUM DO YOU WORK IN PRIMARILY?
Steel. Because, unlike wood if you cut off too much you can weld it back on.
Q. DO YOU HAVE FORMAL TRAINING?
Yes, as a welder but not in woodworking or furniture making. I'm self-taught when it comes to finishing the wood.
Q. WHAT DOES THE PROCESS OF MAKING ART DO FOR YOU? OR HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Gets me out of the house, my time, my space, with nobody else. Because I enjoy trying out new techniques and creating different looks time slips away from me.
Q. ARE THERE ANY RECURRING THEMES IN YOUR WORK?
The use of found items. I like discarded items, or found items that I can turn into an interesting sculpture or piece of furniture.
Q. HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED TO START A NEW PIECE?
Every piece of furniture or sculpture starts with finding something then dreaming up ways to turn it into something new. I like to salvage and reclaim whatever I can, then turn those things something completely different from their original purpose.
Q. WHERE HAS YOUR WORK BEEN SHOWN?
A lot of my pieces are in homes across Ontario, and a few in New York City. .
Q. WHERE CAN WE SEE YOUR WORK?
The best time to see my work is during the Uxbridge Studio tour when I open the doors of my home/studio/gallery for people to come in and look around. The Uxbridge Studio Tour is a great opportunity for people to see my work, buy ready made pieces, or chat with me about their own ideas for pieces.