We first found Tony through Facebook and, after following him for a few months, started to see the beauty of his work unfold before us. The ancient art of metalworking is crossed with the art of tattooing, and pounded into the modern world with Tony’s creative skills that he has continued to develop since his early childhood.
Tony began his artistic career as a child when he taught himself to draw, paint and airbrush and started selling his artwork and cartoons to school mates. While other kids scribbled on walls, Tony painted his bedroom walls with full-blown murals and continued to expand his knowledge of art. He was always fascinated by his father’s and grandfather’s shed and quickly learnt how tools, used correctly, could become extensions of his own hands. This allowed him to create art on new surfaces, firstly on wood, later stone and eventually progressing to his current material of choice – metal.
Tony has worked in multiple trades throughout his life, but all of them have been creative. You get the impression that Tony is the kind of guy who uses art to escape from reality and enter the world of limitless possibilities! After a period of time in various forms of construction work Tony began tattooing, but found the lifestyle overly social and unfulfilling, until a friend suggested metal engraving. One of the biggest bonuses of the career change for Tony was that “people scream. Metal doesn’t!”
The detail in Tony’s work is incredible. It almost looks like the metal itself has been tattooed! Tony said that, initially, he was using the wrong tools trying to get a quick result, but soon learnt that being quick did not give the desired results.
“It didn’t take me long to realise that with an art form as old as this, all you need is a hammer and a chisel, patience, imagination and dedication”
Tony doesn’t believe in luck or natural talent; he has practised his whole life to get to where he is today and puts his talent down to that alone. His work is now seen at most of the custom bike shows, the most recent being Kickback #8. Tony appears to be the kind of guy, who doesn’t accept anything less than perfect and constantly strives to learn more and get better. When you hand your [bike] part over to Tony, it temporarily stops being yours. The part is treated as if it is going on his own motorbike, and only when it reaches Tony’s exacting standards will the part be returned. When he has finished you can be sure to be blown away!
Furthermore, Tony is a keen biker and, not content with creating one- off mind- blowing engravings, he also builds bikes that look like they are fresh off the set of Mad Max. Oh, and finally he lives near the coast in Spain, where the roads are a biker’s dream, so if you wanted to deliver your part in person, then you have a legitimate reason for a quick trip out!
If you are interested in seeing more of Tony’s work, or you want to make your bike stand out from the crowd, then get in touch with Tony through his Facebook page here. He is always up for a challenge so give him a shout with your engraving needs!
Photos courtesy of Tony.