When metal scrap becomes available at Chesapeake Packaging in Bradford, formerly Fields, the usual thing is to ask Geoff Latz if he can use it for one of his sculptures.
Mr Latz, who has worked for the firm for the last 24 years, loves turning bits of copper and steel into works of art. His version of Cleopatra’s barge took him 1,000 hours.
His large sailing ship called Anne’s Galleon, which has a retractable deck cannon, must have taken him a long time as well. The ship is made out of old copper pig trough dishes and reflective plating for security lights.
Both these vessels, along with 21 other pieces, are currently on show at the Fabric gallery in Broadway, Bradford.
“I just love using stuff that other people see as scrap. I love seeing what can be made out of it,” said Mr Latz, who lives at Eccleshill with his wife Anne and daughters Rachel and Rebecca.
“Upscaling – they don’t call it reclamation these days – is massive. There’s a huge market for it. I’ve had exhibitions in London and Leeds, but this is the first time I’ve had one in the centre of town,” he added.
His work is for sale. One piece called selfish, a series of tightly coiled figures in copper and steel wire trying to clamber up metal poles, has already found a buyer for £200. Other pieces are more expensive.
Some of the pieces have movable parts or are illuminated by coloured lights. Mr Latz, who has been pursuing his craft for the last five years, also likes to use brass and steel pins to make shapes and words.
A wall piece called Love Your Bike consists of those words made out of bits of bike chain. Nearby there’s a Mayan totem pole made out of bits of metal.
What he hopes for is a commission to have a go at a really large piece. Now that his two daughters are older he has more time, it’s just the opportunity he needs.
Mr Latz’s exhibition is on until June 11. The Fabric gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 5pm.