Wizardry in Wood 2020
My work is design-led. I begin with a sketch book, followed by making models of my designs. From there I begin to work out the maths for making a striped block using coloured veneers.
I trained at Wolverhampton school of art, studying 3 dimensional art and design, wood, metal and plastics. This is where I started sticking materials together and making boxes with beautiful stripey jointed corners. This led to me creating laminated wooden blocks, that were colourful but balanced with contrast and visual energy. I began turning them on a lathe and was excited at the result.
In 1989 I was able to start my business with a grant from The Princes Youth Business Trust and a bursary award from Wickes DIY. In 2004 I was awarded a bursary from The Worshipful Company of Turners, this funded a new lathe, enabling me to further develop my work
The whole process of producing an object for me is important, from designing and planning, the attention to symmetry and being able to visualise the outcome. Then selecting the wood, usually English sycamore and glueing it together with beautiful coloured veneers. The big buzz as I am turning the piece of work on my lathe, is to see it emerge from a gluey lump of wood, to spring to life, the coloured lines so clean and bright appearing to crossover and weave in and out of each other. Then finally carefully applying the finish. I can see my fascination of circles and lines working together. The satisfaction is enormous. The design is permanent.
I enjoy making pure and simple forms with the addition of a complex laminated element to enhance. I take pleasure updating traditional design, bringing an ordinary object into a contemporary world. I am inspired by architecture, complex linear structures, railway lines, industrial settings such as dock yards with cranes, contrasted with the purity of a ships hull.
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