Mark Hamilton must have one of the shortest journeys to work of anyone in Cumbria. His workshop is a few steps from his back door.

Yet the work itself travels very far and wide. Among the pieces that have crossed the Atlantic is a huge clock at Disney World in Florida. He’s off back to the USA later in the year.

Mark has been making colourful creations in wood and metal for many years, but full-time only for the last few. His workshop is his garage and he adds the finishing touches in his conservatory.

Standing in the cramped workshop, he says: “I don’t make much noise, so I don’t think I bother the neighbours.

“It’s a small space for a small man!”

Mark’s sculptures can be seen at the Old Fire Station gallery in Carlisle and in the studio at his home in Brisco Road in the city – though they’ve also been exported to France, Germany and the USA.

And they are soon to be seen on TV. Mark is one of the artists featuring in a new series called Home Is Where The Art Is, showing on weekdays on BBC1 at 3.45pm and presented by Nick Knowles. His episode goes out next Friday, April 19.

Even if you didn’t know Mark was a sculptor you’d soon guess. In his living room one wall is decorated with a huge sunflower made from of painted metal. Opposite, taking me a bit by surprise, is great wooden clock.

There is much more on show in the conservatory. There are more large clocks. Wooden spiders with copper wire legs swarm over a table. And on a plinth there stands a dragon made of wood and metal, its scales made of 1p and 2p pieces, turned green by a mild acid solution. It’s vivid and alive-looking and would probably frighten small children. What was its purpose?

“I just thought I’d make a dragon,” he says disarmingly. Mark likes to work with recycled materials and the piece he’s currently working on carries an environmental message – about deforestation and the rising temperatures that result.

It looks like a woodland of felled trees and they are surrounded by blue glue that represents rising sea levels.

When it’s finished, he explains, more blue glue will spill over its frame, to look like floodwaters.

Back in the living room, with coffee mugs on a table he made from beech and oak, he explains where his career came from – and what’s happening on TV next week.

Mark was born in Carlisle 55 years ago and has lived in the city all his life. Art has always been part of it.

The long-term relationships began at St Mary Margaret Primary School and continued at Newman School. “When we visited Newman before I started there I loved the art department,” he recalls.

“I hated school apart from art. But I knew at secondary school that I had got the creative bug. I walked away with two O Levels, English and art.”

Mark went to work in his father’s firm, Border Steelwork Structures. It has its headquarters in Warwick Road but creates buildings far beyond. “We made football stadiums in Asia, bridges in Scotland, steel offices.We built Innovia’s premises in Wigton where they make the new banknotes. When Innovia opened a place in Australia, we made that as well.

“I liked it because it was creative, it was like sculpture. It was like Meccano for adults effectively! And I made sculptures from steel in my spare time.”

But the work was quite physically strenuous and took its toll. “I got to the age when I was suffering a few aches and pains, so I made the decision to leave and do the art full time. “I suppose I retired due to ill health. But I now wish I’d done it 20 years earlier.”

Mark is one of 10 local artists whose work features in a permanent gallery at the Old Fire Station. He also had work at the Home and Garden exhibition in Rheged last year. And there are the “Art in the Pen” exhibition in Skipton and Thursk during July and August. The livestock auction areas are given over to artists, and each one has an animal pen in which to display their work, like a mini-gallery. He’ll be back there this summer. “They’re very popular,” he reports. “One weekend you might get 5,000 to 6,000 people.”

Now he and some other artists will get some extra exposure through daytime TV. In Home Is Where The Art Is, three artists visit a client’s home and come up with a design for a bespoke piece or artwork that they think would suit it. The client will then choose which artist will get the commission.

Mark isn’t allowed to tell us whether his was chosen. But he does say that the client’s home didn’t offer many clues.

“A few months before, a fire had completely destroyed it. It was a shell – there was fire and water damage everywhere. We didn’t have a lot to go on.”

But the client has provided some personal details. “He was a bit of a musician, he liked bees and honeycombs, his great-grandfather was a surgeon during the war.”

So Mark came up with a 5ft guitar made from oak, its body decorated with honeycomb and surgical instruments and the neck as a tree with the guitar string as its roots. We’re meant to watch next week’s show if we want to know the outcome.

Mark worked for 35 years for Border Steelworks before turning to full-time sculpture. Giving up a steady job with a steady wage was something he accepts was a risk – but necessary to fulfil a lifelong ambition.

Many people have dreams that they don’t pursue for fear of failure. But Mark is in firm agreement with the famous quote from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

Yet it’s bound to be precarious. As tastes change, so the popularity of artwork does. “Not many people make a huge living out of art,” he points out. “The trouble with it is that it’s very varied, very mercurial. One moment you’re on top of the mountain, the next you’re climbing again. A lot of young artists they think they are going to sell week in, week out. It just doesn’t work like that, I’m afraid.

“I’m lucky in that I’ve been doing it long enough for a lot of people to know what my work is like.”

What do his family make of it? His son Jason, a lab technician, isn’t an artist, but he says: “My daughter Melissa does like to draw and paint”

Mark’s wife Cath works for the NHS at Carleton Clinic. “My wife, bless her heart, is 100 per cent supportive. She might not always like my stuff but she understands the creative side.”

But like most artists he isn’t motivated by money, and more by the need to scratch that creative itch. So he imagines he’ll keeping on doing it for as long as he can. “I couldn’t really stop,” he concludes. “I’m not going to be a multi-millionaire. But I don’t know many other people who have 100 per cent job satisfaction!”