TBT: The Artist’s Studio | Jim Wheeler

The third in our series dipping into the Art All magazine archive – here is sculptor Jim Wheeler in his Auckland studio…

Is your studio near to or far from where you live?

Near. My studio/workshop is on the ground level of our house and in a garage in the front garden. I also use some of the upstairs on occasion.

How much time do you spend there during an average week?

On average I spend between 20 and 30 hours in the workshop area plus around half that again working on the computer.

What ‘tools’ do you require to make your work?

I am “old school”. Pencils, paper, camera, computer, wooden and steel modelling tools, hammers, knives, vacuum chamber, gas cylinders and rings, files, chisels, grinders, sanders, wire brushes, gas and electric welders, drills, gas torches, brushes, levels and ladders… on and on.

What materials do you always have on hand in the studio?

Clay, plaster, wax, LPG, mould rubber, steel, hessian, sisal, wood, oxygen, acetylene, argon, welding rod, brazing rod, grinding wheels, sand paper, patina chemicals, brushes, scotchbrite pads, floor wax and more!

Do you let other people/artists/dealers into your work space or do you prefer privacy?

Yes, I let in anyone if they ask nicely – with a warning…huge mess!

Do you make better work when the studio is tidy or chaotic?

My studio is never tidy.

Do you play music while you work? (If so – what’s on your playlist?)

National Radio.

What are the three essential elements for your ideal studio?

Space, organisation and light…ideally

Describe your studio in one word


Article originally published in Art All magazine, issue #112, spring 2013