AFTER losing his office job, Toby Robson decided to allow his creative juices to flow by creating metal casting sculptures.

Now the Swindon artist has been asked to jet over to the famous Sculpture Trails outdoor museum in Indiana, USA, to create a piece of sculpture that will nestle among works by internationally known artists.

“I will be spending the month of July playing with all the toys in the foundry. It will be boys with fire, a sort of Dante’s Inferno with sulphur in the air and roaring engines,’’ he said.

“It is going to be quite an experience. I came late on the scene to sculpture so it is a fantastic opportunity to pick up tips from internationally famous sculptors.’’ Toby, 40, from Old Town, is making paper plans and maquettes, which are little models of his ideas, for the American work. A couple of them, IKD and IKD2, are on show at his FeAL exhibition in the Artsite Post Modern Art Gallery in the town centre.

It is a little piece of Swindon that has inspired the concept for his major work. Toby said: “There is a beautiful old cemetery near Hythe Road where the trees grow through the iron railings. I was fascinated by the way they grew, so I am planning to make an iron cage and plant a tree inside to grow through.’’ The living sculpture will be part of a park made up of 15 acres of woodlands whose leafy glades provide the perfect backdrop to the works of art.

Gerry Masse, who runs the outdoor museum, met Toby during a foundry course at Coalbrookdale near Telford. Gerry was heading up the furnace crew running the workshop.

Toby spent 16 years in an office and says he found it stressful and uninspiring, so now he is living his dream.

And, thanks to his mother and father, he has his own small foundry called The Shack at the bottom of his parents’ garden in Devizes.

He is also taking a course in stone masonry at Bath College to add another string to his bow.

FeAL is on display until February 18. It is a collection of his work created over the last seven years in iron, aluminium, brass and bronze.

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