Jo is welded to her art career

 Cowwarr sculptor Jo Caminiti will have some pieces on display with painter Graeme Myteza at the Station Gallery in Yarragon. photograph hayley mills

Cowwarr sculptor Jo Caminiti will have some pieces on display with painter Graeme Myteza at the Station Gallery in Yarragon. photograph hayley mills

After 30 years in resource management and sustainability Jo Caminiti just "couldn't put her finger on" what was wrong.

"A few things happened and I realised I don't have as much time as I thought I had," she said.

"Work just wasn't exciting me like it used to ... I thought I wanted to pursue my creative side and that wasn't going to be fed by taking other directions at work."

Using some long service leave, Ms Caminiti took some time to "figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up" and, after signing up for a welding class multiple times but never hearing back, taught herself to weld using YouTube tutorials.

"I went to a small rural school but art and science clashed and I didn't see art as a viable career option. The only person I knew that did art was the art teacher," she said.

"But I see things and I think 'oh wow I want to make that'. I love it, but I want to make it myself.

"I'd be pruning grapevines and I'd be hip-deep and I'd be making things instead of cleaning up."

No longer at work, Ms Camiti devotes her time to crafting impressive wire sculptures in her studio, a herringbone cow shed, at her home in Cowwarr and also runs workshops now and then.

"I've made a few experimental things," she said.

"When I was making the fighting roos, there were birds trying to nest in them. I never thought this would be one of the occupational hazards of my work."

Ms Caminiti's said one of her larger sculptures used almost one kilometre of wire and more then 400 hours of wirework.

Some of Ms Caminiti's work will be on display through August at the Station Gallery, as part of an exhibition titled 'Branching Out' with Graeme Myteza, who will also have paintings on display.

"I went from two years of endless wirework and talking to my dog all day to now having all of these opportunities," she said.

"I'm still trying to catch my breath – there are whole new things coming, I've got some commissions, and it is exciting."

For more information about the exhibition, visit facebook.com/BawBawArtsAlliance.

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