About Us – Creating working sculptures
We have 35 years’ experience in steel fabrication between us, starting out as platers. Pete worked with his dad in a fabrication job – he said there’s a couple of weeks’ work but fourteen years later here we are with our own business! Shaun started training as mechanic, and was considering joining the Royal Engineers when he was offered an apprenticeship as a fabricator.
We’ve both always had an interest in art. It was Shaun’s best exam result, with his final piece being a clay sculpture. Pete was fascinated by artists such as Escher, but neither of us saw art as a career option.
When we met at Chesterfield Fabrications in 2008 we were both into Formula 1 and go karting, and soon became friends. Pete had a log burner in his back garden which fell apart. At the same time Shaun’s wife bought a chiminea for £150 and Shaun thought ‘I could make a better one than that.’ He started in his spare time and produced a burner based on A film villain. Pete was keen on building his own too.
Then Shaun went to Halfords in his classic mark 2 Escort. People always asked about it, and when Shaun saw two guys looking at the car he thought he was going to be quizzed on the Escort. In fact they were arguing about who would buy the burner!
So we put it on eBay and watched in surprise as the price went up and up. We then sold a couple more through eBay as a hobby, and decided to set up a Facebook page. We came up with the idea of the camper van as we both love them, and it just snowballed. A beetle was the obvious next step, and then we started to develop other caricatures from films, cars and popular culture.
We decided we needed to rent a unit to keep up with demand, and set up an email account. 300 emails a day meant it crashed almost immediately! Our wives both agreed we needed to quit the day jobs – and with 4,000 positive comments on Facebook we decided to go for it.
Our wives have continued to be a massive help – we couldn’t do it without them. We also feel like people are really rooting for us. It’s great to see all the comments, especially as we are so close to it. Sometimes we’re not sure whether we’ve got it right, so it’s good to get some feedback.
It’s the best job we’ve ever had. We enjoy working together, and we have a laugh. We often go home feeling that we can’t wait to get back to work!