Working with wood is my latest career choice having previously worked as an Cartographer, Field Archaeologist, Archaeological Curator and finally as Museum Collections Manager. Not the kind of background you might expect but I have always enjoyed working with wood so I didn’t want to feel that I never had the opportunity to explore where that might take me.
I use a wide range of native and non-native woods, birch plywood and reclaimed wood. In most cases the design element of my work is driven by the desire to highlight and show off the character and quality of the wood itself, i.e. the grain and its natural colours. On occasions it is an unusual feature in a piece of wood that is the inspiration for the design of the finished piece.
The intricate and beautiful nature of wood grain is something I always want to enhance, so the surfaces are sanded to a very fine level by hand, and then a clear wax finish is applied. I do not use varnishes as I want these items to develop their own history by accumulating the dents and scratches of use, which the owner can then ‘soften’ with additional applications of wax finish. It is the quality and appearance of the wood itself that matters most, so to that end I prefer to use simple forms and do not use any stains or paint, except for the black baseboards.
Whilst the basic layout and design of some of my pieces can be repeated, the appearance of each completed piece will always be unique, but as everything I make is hand crafted it can be varied to meet different requirements. Not everything is possible but I do like a challenge !.