Jack sees life from a whole different perspective, and it tends to come from the funnier side of the street. This translates into his drawings. That’s usually the starting point for one of his metal designs. The drawings are then created in an Auto-CAD (computer-aided design) program on his computer. From there, after a few test runs, the computer guides a plasma cutter to form the images on large sheets of metal.
Jack works in steel, aluminum and copper. Some designs lend themselves best to a specific type of metal. Often, custom designs can incorporate many elements, including stone.
Welding is also employed for metal joinery, decoration or to embellish a design.
Jack’s designs come in three metal styles: natural steel, oxidized steel and a matte black finish. All works are clear-coated at the end of the process. Oxidization is a chemical etch used to give metal a unique weathered finish.
If you like an authentic rusted look, all designs can live outdoors, just know that rust plus rain & snow go hand-in-hand.
Jack also sources ideas from antique books on botanicals, birds and animal images as a starting point to create some of his quirkier characters. Nature and wildlife books are also an endless source of creative thought-starters.
Jack Willoughby was born in Newport News, Virginia, raised in California and moved to British Columbia in 1961, so he has never been far from the ocean. Jack now lives on Vancouver Island with his family, where he creates his stone and iron sculptures from his studio in Nanaimo.
Jack’s career as an artist began in steelworking, then teaching metal work at a Vancouver college, where the freedom to create his own designs in steel soon turned into his full-time occupation. That occupation has grown to international proportions as Jack’s innovative work finds its way into the homes and gardens of buyers from Japan to New York. The strength and simplicity of Jack’s figures make them ‘versatile’ art – equally at home on the mantlepiece beside the carriage clock, or adding a touch of elegance to the garden.