When I was young I’d come home from school to find that a giant spiderweb filled the living room, or that the smell of fresh resin led to a shimmering ice cave in the shed – while on the grass outside was a plump silver aeroplane piloted by a bear. These things had been made by my parents for the Science Museum or Doctor Who or The Goodies. They seemed completely magical but also perfectly achievable; matter-of-fact alchemy – and they made me want to make things too.

In 1986, after an art foundation course at Kingston Polytechnic, I was given the chance to go to Canada, where I spent three months taking photographs. The medium felt like it turned everything I saw into a gift and throughout the 90s I travelled as much as I could for the freedom to commit to it.

The work I made then was represented by Corbis Photography Library and galleries in London – and was often published and exhibited – winning a medal in an international Royal Photographic Society exhibition and seen in publications including The Times, Independent, Observer, Marie Claire, Design Week and Photographers International Magazine. The work was also shortlisted for the Anglo Israeli Travel Award and Wanderlust Travel Photographer of the Year. A picture from India is also held in the collection of the Wellcome Trust.

After completing a fine art degree at Brighton Polytechnic, I started to work freelance as a sculptor and painter, making scenery for Nick Pemberton and later Dave Crosswell. Projects included a Viking theme park in Norway, a whale’s stomach in the Czech Republic for the film Pinocchio, a giant skull for the London premiere of Pirates in the Caribbean,  and the heraldic decorations on the Queen’s row barge, The Gloriana, for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

I had worked with reflective surfaces during my degree and in 2005, while working on a Baroque interior for television I was asked to find a way to antique mirror. The result was a sequence of experiments that lead to a series of designs set in mirror – and in 2008 I set up with a business partner, to market them. For 8 years we produced designs and finishes for an international client base and in 2016 I sold my stake in the company.

From 2005 until 2016 I taught drawing and painting and life and portrait classes in adult education. Teaching became intrinsic to the way I thought and kept me open to the potential of any ideas, observations or processes that one could learn through. It was a lovely way of sharing ideas and I’m very aware of how lucky I was to work with such inspiring and adventurous artists.