Last year Andre Sardone was the supervisor at a roofing company.
This year, he is preparing to unveil an exhibition of steel sculptures at Dudley House.
Sardone has been working with steel, timber and any other material he can get his hands on for 15 years.
After Melbourne exhibitions in 2003, 2004 and 2005, he got back to work as a roofing plumber.
But when he was selected for a council grant to exhibit at Dudley House, Sardone scaled back his work to focus on his art.
“It is my first exhibition in 10 years. Getting that grant gave me a seven month deadline to create some things for it. It’s been great,” he said.
“I’m working on the tools for two or three days a week and the rest of the time I am finding materials and creating things.”
Sardone said he felt lucky to win the grant from council to put his exhibition together.
“They allow six local artists to exhibit in there through the year,” he said.
“I had some good feedback and that certainly gave me the green light and the confidence to focus more on my art.”
From portraits using Colourbond steel to interactive sculptures, Sardone has found use for even the most useless of scrap metal.
“I just find a piece of steel and try use it in a different way. These are all bits and pieces that people think are scrap but I think are cool,” he said.
“I’m not from the arts world, I didn't got to arts school. I’m just a tradesman that thinks a bit differently.”
A visit to Bendigo tourist attraction Confectionery Capers inspired Andre to explore some moving sculptures.
“I have gone from stuff that suggests movement to things that actually move,” he said.
“That's where my work is heading. I like exploring things like big machines that are quite useless but visually attractive.”
With a studio and yard full of bits and pieces waiting to be re-purposed or up-cycled into an artistic venture, where does Sardone find his materials?
“I work next door to Sandhurst Steel and they let me use their waste products and go through their bins,” he said.
“There’s also a scrapyard in Lockwood that has been good to me as well.”
But despite exhibiting a wide array of his work in a gallery, Sardone is staying humble.
“I’ve got some dreams but I’m not getting ahead of myself. It is exciting to put it out there and see what happens,” he said.
Steel Evolution opens at Dudley House on June 17, from 3.30pm to 6pm. The exhibition is open from 11am to 5.30pm from June 18 to June 25. Visit www.andresardone.com for more information.