Ross Hathaway is a designer who has come to art through industry. Born in the UK, he served his apprenticeship as a plater/welder, before qualifying as a mechanical production engineer. Through this hands-on engagement with manufacturing he complimented his metalwork expertise with skills in problem-solving and experience of bringing designs from conception through into production.
Along the way, he set up an educational engineering workshop in Nigeria and designed a patented piece of machinery for paper cutting.
In 2002 Hathaway moved to Ireland and established Metal Mayhem in Kilcormac, County Offaly, where he makes jewellery, sculpture and one-off designs in metal.
His sculpture Turf, Wind and Fire (2012) is located in Lough Boora Parklands, County Offaly, and he is one of the three participants behind a public sculpture (2014) recently erected in Kilcormac, which combines ancient bog oak and contemporary metalwork.
His jewellery won the award for best suite of products on the New Product Development Course (2013) organised by Eddie Shanahan for makers from Offaly and Westmeath.
His work ranges from large scale public sculptures to smaller pieces of jewellery. He works in mild steel, copper and stainless steel. He loves the weird and wonderful things that metals do, the varying textures that can be applied, the colours that can appear in copper and the clean lines of stainless steel. Because he is experienced with metal he is confident in working with it as a medium. He is prepared to do things that other people wouldn't want to do.
"I think that the landscape feeds into my work although I don't quite understand how. Each season has its nuances, mist, wind, snow, sun, growth and decay. There are reflections, evolution and tranquillity. Something new, welcome and unwelcome. And the rain! Who can forget the rain! There's something that I like about water and this has a bearing on my work. Making comes to me naturally and sometimes unexpected curves emerge from the making. There have been times when I have seen these curves echoed in the landscape and asked myself – was that there before?"
His pieces are being exhibited in Tullamore Library for the month of May.