KAWARTHA LAKES-Christina Handley keeps a notepad beside her bed. “I could wake up in the middle of the night and go OH MY GOD, that’s it,” she says laughing. I have to write my ideas down because you think you will remember but you never do.”
Her interest in metal started about five years ago. “I’ve always been artistic. Ive been a professional photographer for 20 years but I’ve always had an interest in metal, I don’t know why.” She first started putting old tools and things together on a board and spelling out words and then her husband taught her how to weld. “I started making little men out of old machine parts and quirky little things and then last November I bought this plasma cutter just because I wanted it.” And Handley Acres Custom Creations was born.
Handley says she had no idea at the time how to use the plasma metal cutter and had never seen one used. “I just knew what it was capable of and I thought it was really cool.” she told Kawartha 411. “I just started cutting, I’m self taught.” It was trial and error in the beginning. “My first pieces were really scary,” she says laughing. “I kept going and going and I just love it, it’s therapeutic for me”
It didn’t take long for her to become an expert. Today she uses anything that has a good surface on it that she can cut, to create one of a kind works of art. The oil tank creation took three months. “I sketch everything out freehand with soapstone first so I can erase it when I make a mistake. Originally I thought I would put it full of horses and then I thought I would put a few horses and I would make all these other designs,” she recalls. “I love doodling and I’ve loved horses since I was a little girl, so it was a no brainer.”
For another piece she used a 50 inch saw blade. “I was spinning the blade and I thought I could put all these horses galloping around it, it would look really cool.”
Handley Acres is a farm located in the tiny village of Burnt River. She draws on the serenity of the farm and the things she is passionate about for her inspiration. “When I first started making things I was just making it and I still just make them for me, I don’t make anything just to sell.” All of her works are a labour of love. “Whatever I make, I make for me and if people like it that’s great and if they don’t that’s Ok too.” she says.
Handley’s works have been sold to people all across Canada and the US. She goes to local arts festivals to showcase her works and posts them on her Facebook page. You can see her custom creations at the Kawartha Arts Festival this Saturday and Sunday at the Fenelon Falls Fair Grounds. For more information click here:https://www.facebook.com/HandleyAcresCustomCreations/