It took me 26 years to figure out what I really enjoyed. Then another 5 to build up the skills to do what I do.
I came to admire bikes when I was about 26. Don't get me wrong, I loved bikes as a kid but not in the same way. Something clicked, or snapped, I just felt the need to get all this energy out, it makes a day at work (day job as a designer) more bearable.
I went about restoring old bikes and servicing them. That developed into a sort of hoarding. Homed in a rented garage. Which became a workshop, I took a cycle maintenance course, also a course in welding.
I had restored a range of bikes, and was left with a huge stockpile of used components that had no use but the scrap heap. This was the point the parts became the focus and having not made profit on the restorations I decided to take another angle.
BespokeSpokes (I can't take credit for the name, a colleague Anne-Marie came up with it – thank you!) was the result. Since then I've concentrated on my bike art.
Really enjoy spending what time I can crafting my items. I Feel the parts present themselves rather than me deciding their fate in advance. Occasionally conceptualising some of my work but generally it flows from the components themselves.
Thanks for taking the time to read all that!
Joe - BespokeSpokes