Post Course Conundrums – what’s next? Meet Sam Jackson

Sam Jackson using anvil to mould copper into petals

We hope that we understand the needs of our members, and unsurprisingly everyone is different. We love seeing how people utilise the workshop and we are here to support you. Sometimes after completing an induction or course it may seem daunting to return to the workshop to work independently, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We spoke to Sam Jackson about how he navigated his way to using the workshop as a hobbyist after completing a course.

What do you make?
At the moment, I am particularly interested in making botanical forms from metal, and specifically lighting or lit sculpture. I love repeating and overlapping patterns, and the opportunity that using nature as an inspiration gives for imperfection. So far, I have used soft metals such as aluminium and copper. 

How did you discover Blackhorse?
I attended a lighting design course during the pandemic in Spring 2021, run by Blackhorse, and it all went from there. I was very taken with the possibility of forming a seemingly immutable substance (metal) and the material changes it undergoes when working, and the Blackhorse staff started me on this road.  

What do you do? 
Day-to-day, I am a scientist working for a Research Institute based at University College London. I studied neuroscience and have a fascination for how the brain works and what goes wrong when it doesn’t.  

What is important to you about the workshop?
The workshop is firstly a fabulous place to go and work on a project, with all the tools and larger-scale machinery I need to cut, heat and shape metal. But really it is the people, staff and other makers, who have been friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful in my exploration of the craft which makes it such a wonderful place to learn and try out new techniques.  

What does it give you?
The workshop gives me a physical space where I can go and forget about the thoughts of life and concentrate on using my hands on making for making’s sake. It gives me the inspiration and support to try new things. 

Your next steps could begin with using one of our practice kits, we have three woodwork kits and a metal kit coming soon. Or you may want to further explore our courses. Our tutors are also workshop members or technicians, so please do approach us and we can help your journey into making.