Growing up, I had a strong inclination to create anything to impress the eye and fascinate the mind, but after graduating from UCSC, I came back home to the Bay Area and knew for sure, that without further study, my education would never help me earn a living. In fact, to this day, except for the way that it helped me to think- it has not made for a living at all. I leapt from one job to another, and from one place to the next, aimlessly, all the while wishing with little hope that I were an artist, or artisan, or anything with some measure of creative energy surrounding it.
In 2009, I began doing the bright work on a ship, the Two Shadows, for Ron Chapel, a sculptor who loved the ocean as I do and is better known simply as ‘Chapel’ in the art world. The following year he invited me to work with him on a monumental piece called, ‘the Center’, which is now living happily in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was stupefied, overwhelmed and very happily surprised by the kind of work we were doing. Finally I had something to live by, something to give me hope and pride, something empowering. We completed several pieces over the next two and a half years, before Chapel set sail out of the Bay.
In these last few years I have concentrated on own metal work. I am working on completing my blast furnace so that I can make unique bronze and steel figures and shapes. I have side jobs welding, creating rails etc., mostly on boats. Soon Chapel and I will begin a new project and will have his “SOMBRA” cast in bronze. I miss him very much and try to remember his good advice, always.
Lately while making ends meet, I have come to realize that there is always a struggle, to pick my battles carefully and fret where I like instead of arbitrarily. I have been feeling the pressure of the city and encourage myself and others to defy the feeling that we are subdued. We are free, despite our circumstance, we can choose any path.
Peter and his wife Claudia Ramirez live in Oakland on his faithful houseboat, a 30 foot sloop named Gitana. Peter has a degree in Classical Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz and works for Turner and Taylor Metal Works in Novato, California.