Born in 1941, Ian Buchanan was raised in Melbourne. Educated at Geelong Grammar and under the close guidance of Australian national sporting hero, John Landy (a teacher of natural history), he was influenced and nurtured in his great appreciation for excellence in detail, empathy for the environment and the natural order of things.
lan’s inate creative ability was given its head during ten years of rural living and farm management which included (by choice) blacksmithing, implement design and construction. Later, on a cattle station northwest of Alice Springs, jackerooing for months on end, he would enjoy the company of the local, black stockmen and their appreciation and eye for detail has influenced him strongly ever since. These influences are strongly reflected in the works Ian produces in all metals. “Sometimes a theme to me can be interpreted in bronze as opposed to gold or in some other metal because of the subject matter and the way in which I relate to it.”
In 1971 Ian received a Federal grant to study silver and goldsmithing under the RMIT (USA) qualified Wol Van Heckeren in Sydney for 12 months.
Between 1974 and 1980 Ian owned and ran his own gold, silver and jewellery shop (Millie’s Mother’s Jewellery) at the Rocks in Sydney and developed this enterprise as a showcase outlet for his work. Ian then travelled extensively experiencing the cultural influences of China, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, and Holland. These experiences complemented his appreciation for the Australian lifestyle and influenced his work significantly. The main focus of his work now shows an awareness and need for the preservation of the Australian environment.
So much so that in 1989 Ian was commissioned to interpret the platypus logo (an endangered species) of the Australian Geographic Society in three dimensions by way of a brooch followed by a series on similar wildlife icons. This series enjoyed widespread success and acceptance in the marketplace for Australian collectors.
“I enjoy being given commissions. To me the satisfaction of giving a client what they really want is paramount and translates to the ultimate in achievement. Identifying and discerning what a client really wants is the problem. Their solution is for me to embrace and dimensionalise their vision.”
From 1984 Ian owned and lived aboard a 1932 Dutch cargo barge, 26m x 4.8m, which he converted into a living ship with workshop and travelled the canals and rivers of Holland, Belgium, France and Germany for 14 years. Ian now lives and works on 120 acre’s of pasture and rain forest in the Tweed Valley where he has built his own home.