Some people like to scatter gnomes and other figurines around their garden. I would rather add in life-size native animal or bird look-a-likes. To that end I have collected a metal wallaby, a few chooks, magpies and a robin (which inspired an excited neighbour to phone and tell me I had a real one resting on my fence top).
Thanks to friend Helen I learnt about a metal sculptor, who welds garden structures and other objects, in a nearby suburb. I agreed to visit one day. She had previously purchased a wonderful birdbath but, nevertheless, I must confess my advance prejudice was that metal sculpture for gardens is often banal and kitschy and that those on offer would not be to my taste at all. The reverse was the case. While there were some pieces that were not to my liking, I wanted to take home so much of what I saw. Creativity. Talent. Superb Workmanship. Clever crafting. Beautiful shapes. Some functional. Some decorative. Quirky on occasion. Tiny. Huge – on a scale where forklifts and trucks would be required to take the object away. All were on display outside the sculptor’s home at Sandford, a tiny settlement past Lauderdale on the way to Clifton Beach and Opossum Bay.
Artist, Peter Hodoniczky has to be congratulated. He simply loves working with metal and he loves welding. Thankfully he has the artist’s eye so the scale and forms are a pleasure to behold. Everything is a one off depending on the metal he has, and how it can be worked.
Below are a few photographs which don’t give the scale and don’t do the forms justice. Seeing the three dimensional images on a photo, away from the sense you get when seeing them in the landscape, may make them difficult to appreciate.
I restrained myself and came away with a rusty metal bird that now hangs from beneath my balcony and seems in flight, and a substantial birdbath with an antique bowl from which the real birds can drink.
Over summer the birds and bees in my garden will be happy to have clean fresh water to drink.
For people living around Hobart I recommend you phone in advance to let Peter know when you are coming, then drive out and have a look. Just the looking is a terrific experience even if you don’t want to buy. I found there was no pressure to make a purchase. In fact, Peter simply continued in his workshop creating another new piece. He was as delighted as I when I bought a piece, in such a way that I could see he had no expectations. Please note he did not have a credit card option when I visited; I could pay by cash or make an internet bank transfer of funds.