Lawrie served a Boilermaking & Welding apprenticeship for the N.Z.R Govt. workshops at Hillside 1980 – 1984. He has always worked in engineering, moving between different industries including Railways, Meat Industries, Ship Building, and Structural Steel. He formed Zeal Steel in 1995, at the request of clients, and after seeing an opportunity for steelwork and engineering to be done to a high standard. Lawrie began more clearly to see the art of steelwork with which he was working in the early 1990’s, and responded with wrought iron architectural metal work and art pieces.
Over the years, Lawrie has worked with many artists in NZ, among them sculptors Stuart Griffith and Morgan Jones. In 1999 Zeal decided to commission their own artwork in the form of a remake of the kiwi classic Sir Robert Muldoon Piggy Bank, built in a medium of 5mm steel plate and standing 1.5m high. Laurie identifies other significant projects as the fit outs for Dunedin based fashion designers Nom D (2006) and the new Ironic Café (2007).
In March 2008, Lawrie created his first original sculptures in response to a request from the Director of the Collaborations (Fe29) Gallery in Dunedin, NZ. These works were created utilizing steel from the historic Dunedin railway footbridge that Zeal had rebuilt after it was knocked down by a freak accident. These works formed the basis for the exhibition entitled “The Footbridge from Collapse to Return”. Lawrie and his staff also assisted in the setup of the exhibition, constructing a bridge down the center of the gallery, and other pieces to display memorabilia.
To see more on Lawrie’s Works