Dorset bespoke metalwork artist Ted Edley

PUBLISHED: 11:52 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:52 17 October 2017

Lucy Sewill

A chap who can mend a mangled car can turn his hand to pretty much anything.

And Mat ‘Ted’ Edley is no exception. The one-time motor accident repairman now uses his skills to craft extraordinary creations from copper instead of banging out fenders.

His work is as idiosyncratic as it is stunning: from 9ft sharks to giant squid with motorcycle-chain tentacles to £1,700 bespoke snooker table lights.

“Bodywork,” he says, “is a peculiar but transferable skill set. Art was always a passion.

“I used to make metal flowers in my lunchbreak. My mates in the garage all thought I was a little bit odd.”

He crossed over into art, full-time, four years ago setting up The Dorset Copperfish.

“Shapes are infinitely possible and I work to commission. Just don’t call me now if you’ve pranged your car!”

His woodland workshop near Corfe Castle is studded with outlandish creations: old Messershmitts, lunks of metal and his beloved, handcrafted steampunk blunderbuss.

His squid – now hanging in the Crab House Café in Wyke Regis – went for £1,500. His £5,000 shark, currently exhibited at Not Just Sundaes Community Cafe in Wareham, took him 400 hours to make.

His next project is a life-size, aluminium manta ray.

“Aluminium is my favourite material,” he says, excitedly. “Copper is quite easy to work with but not so easy to join.”

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