The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper
St. Patrick's Day Special Edition
March 17, 2009
Rob Higgs - The Artist
Rob Higgs was born in Leicester, in 1975 to a Danish mother and a Scottish father. He has a brother and two sisters.
Rob has always had a fascination with electrical and mechanical components and as a boy played with gears and old mercury tilt switches that he found in his Grandfathers workshop.
Rob felt unchallenged at school and with the encouragement of his teachers, he left and set up a business making snowboards with his friends. Rob made the machinery for building the boards and bindings.
In 1996, Rob received a phonecall from a friend telling him of a sunken fishing boat in Cornwall for £50, so he left Leicester and headed West. Rob refloated and completely rebuilt the fishing boat as a gaff rigged yacht, which has become his home, which he shares with his partner Jill. It was in the boatyard that Rob began building wild mechanical machines.
Cornwall provides a rich source of raw materials e.g. old cogs, wheels, chains and associated mechanical items found on old farmsteads, in boatyards and scrapheaps. Rob playfully welds together these components to create his eccentric mechanical devices.
Rob began to sell his work through The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre as well as working on collaborative commissions with Engineered Arts. His work has been exhibited widely across Europe.
In 2005 Rob was commissioned by The Eden Project in Cornwall to construct The Nutcracker, a mechanical sculpture measuring eight feet square by 35 feet high and weighing over four tonnes. He has also created a collaborative chainreaction film for the Science Museum.
Marcus Wilkinson of ONEOFONEHUNDRED LIMITED met Rob through acquiring one of his artworks. He then commissioned Rob to build The Corkscrew, an ingenious mechanical device for opening a bottle and pouring a glass of wine.
©2009 Don Bull, Editor