New Mills for Turnabout
“This is my latest salt and pepper mill design – a set inspired by the wonderful hand tinted botanical lithographs of the nineteenth century. They also pay homage to the exotic and extravagant interior of Brighton Pavillion, the seaside residence of King George IV.
I was making a piece for the upcoming all-woman show ‘Turnabout: Women at the Lathe‘ organised by the WIT (Women In Turning) branch of the American Woodturners Association. I have made of lot of salt and pepper mills over the years, but never exhibited them in any exhibitions in the USA so I thought it was time that I made a special set for this interesting exhibition.
I was really pleased with how they came out, with the pyrographed artichoke leaves and new purple texture on the tops to represent the flowers, and so I went on to also use the inspiration to make a new coleopteran pendant too!”
The show will travel to three venues:
Appalachian Center for Craft (ACC), Smithville, TN, January 15- March 12, 2018
AAW Gallery of Wood Art, St. Paul, MN, June 3-July 29, 2018
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, August 10-October 10, 2018 (exact dates to be finalized.)
All of my work begins with extensive visual research, sketching and a technical scaled drawing. Many of my pieces evolve from shapes with organic bisymmetry and the turning technique allows me to effectively create these forms. I find that using the lathe gives my work rhythm and balance, almost like a structural backbone within each piece. I then begin carving, texturing, applying airbrushed inks, resins or metals to create the intricate details. Inspiration for me has always been dominated by a fascination with the natural world, particularly marine life, microscopic creatures, insects, plants and fossils, which together offer a fantastic repertoire of imagery.
I have had a passion for the arts and crafts from a young child when I constantly painted, sketched and made things. As I grew older, although I also had a strong interest in biology, this creativity eventually led to a degree in 3D Design at Brighton University, UK in 1994, and a career as a professional designer / maker.
During my studies I worked in wood, metal, ceramics and plastics and it was at this time that I discovered that wood was a perfect medium for my designs. Although I am perhaps known for my use of colour and resin, wood remains my main material of choice and the lathe the best means of creating my forms. I chose to work in wood not because I was attracted to straight lines and joinery but rather because I could shape it into forms with flowing lines and crisp details. As a living material, wood has a warmth and tactile quality that resonates with my organic designs. It is important to me that people are able to have a sense of this when they interact with my pieces. My favourite timber is sycamore, a sustainable wood with a pale even grain and translucent quality that works well as a blank canvas for my designs.
Louise exhibited at Wizardry in Wood 2016, and won the first prize in the Open ‘Great Fire of London’ competition with her salt and pepper mills.