Rough Robots started off as a personal creative project when I was teaching at art school. I made robots from recycled materials including cardboard, beach-combed plastic junk, and street finds. Of course, I've liked robots since I was a kid.
I'd dabbled a little with making robots from clay when I was still teaching. I'm retired now, and ceramic robots have become a focus and an excuse for meeting up with my old colleague Warren Dunn. We make the robots for fun and we get a bit giddy.
I also make digital drawings. I enjoy the editorial freedom of digital work: the ability to move the composition around, to re-size, re-colour, and to add or subtract elements. I like to include extraneous material too: bits of shopping lists, till receipts, found scraps and sometimes stuff looted from an old tin box that contains the family 'archive'. But this is more about how these things look together, rather than with anything else.
The Rough Robot aesthetic, if I can call it that, is mainly driven by the working behaviours and natural visual characteristics of the materials used. For me, a hand-made clay robot must look like a hand-made clay robot.
Other influences are the Japanese notion of flawed beauty (wabi sabi), the Golem legend, brutalist architecture, industrial plant, tanks, aeroplanes, armour and Ned Kelly.
Why robots? Well, they're a modern archetypal form that can withstand all sorts of liberties of interpretation, but which can still be recognised. And, as I said, I've liked robots since I was a kid.