For artist Stephen Coles attending the 5th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Ironbridge in 2006 gave direction to his love of making and artistic practice. Experiencing the materiality and spectacle of iron casting had a deep impact on his artistic explorations and began a love of foundry practice and metal casting that defines his career today. Stephen studied sculpture at West Wales School of Arts, Carmarthen, achieving a 1st class Hons degree before winning a full scholarship to attend the MFA Sculpture programme at Alfred University, New York. After graduating with a distinction, he was invited to teach foundry practice in the graduate sculpture programme at Alfred. He then returned home to his native Dorset to continue his own artistic practice and open his own artist led foundry, Coles Castings, which specialises in fine art castings in cast iron, bronze and aluminium. Shaftesbury