Since I was old enough I have enjoyed the sensation of a tool in my hand, a knife, a chisel or even a pen. A childhood spent cooking, baking and beer brewing at home, carving and turning at school was balanced by time spent playing with bullets and bits in my grandfather’s workshop. With him very little was ever actually made, but that didn’t seem to be the point.
Since then 35 years spent making furniture has made me more demanding, a workshop full of specialised equipment accumulated along with a weighty set of skills, has ended up defining me as a “Professional Woodworker”, as someone who is marked by his skillset.
The furniture I make these days seeks to ask a question. Whether or not its design and execution value the materials from which it is made. It has become essential for me to be led by the material, to respond to it and not only impose my will on it. Each piece is a cooperation between the nature of the material and my own nature, and becomes a visual expression of a period of relationship between myself and the wood through the tools I choose to use.
In all truth I will always be a beginner, always apprenticing myself to some new idea, or technique. One of these techniques, more of a passion really that I have practised quietly over the years, has been writing. The word has always been a link for me between the isolated craftsman and the human world outside the workshop. Communication, stories told and listened to, wisdom, inanity and laughter shared.
Over the last 10 years I have increasingly used my love of wood and word to facilitate and teach. Wood and words, trees and people, material and ethereal, it is here I love increasingly to dwell. My mornings these days are spent writing, and my afternoons are spent making. Finally I feel I have found a balance and harmony in my creative practise.
If you would like to contact me regarding commissions do get in touch or book yourself on to one of my courses here at The Brake.