New Collaboration

In the last few months I have been working on an exciting new collaboration with Chloe Needham, a paper artist also living in North Wales.

It has been really interesting working with someone who’s medium is completely different to mine and one I haven’t had any experience of before (except being slightly obsessed with cutting things up with scissors when I was at school!).

After some discussions together at Chloe’s house in Llanrwst we eventually decided on a design for a sculptural moth light.  With me making the body and Chloe the delicate coloured wings, the moth would rest on a bare bulb hanging on a wall.

We were then very fortunate to be able to visit Rhyd-y-Creuau – the Field Studies Centre in North Wales (and where my partner Mark works) – where we were able to look at the moths caught the night before by Alice, and their collection of moths and butterflies.  It was great to be able to see them in 3D, see how they moved and flew and look closely at the fine details.

 

We are close to finishing the piece and hope to have it ready in time for me to show it at Wizardry in Wood in London this October (www.wizardryinwood.com)

 

Wizardry in Wood Oct 2016

I will be exhibiting in London from the 12th-15th Oct 2016 at Wizardry in Wood – organised by the Worshipful Company of Turners, and only held every 4 years.  You can find out more and buy tickets at https://wizardryinwood.com/

One of the oldest Livery Companies in the City of London, the Turners’ Company was already a guild in the 12th Century. Some 200 years later, Edward III decreed that ‘wooden measures, as well for wine as for ale’ should be made only by ‘turnours’ with marks of their own – and the medieval turners established the English ‘pint’ as an official measure. In 1604 the Company received its Royal Charter from James I.

This year their one of competitions is commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and I have made a special piece inspired by the start of the fire at the bakery at Pudding Lane which will be exhibited at the show.

fireengraving

 

Beautiful and amazing original works by over 70 of the world’s greatest contemporary woodturners

Where, When, How?

Where: In the spectacular and spacious Carpenters’ Hall in the heart of the City of London.

When: Wed 12 – Sat 15 October: opens 10am each day.  On Wed 12, Thur 13 & Fri 14 October: closes 6pm, last entry 5pm.  On Sat 15 October: closes 4pm, last entry 3pm

Go to http://www.wizardryinwood.com to buy tickets

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Report from Nepal

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What a great experience it was be invited by the International Wood Culture Society to participate in another collaborative sculpture project. Three years ago I travelled to China, and then this year I was fortunate enough to get the chance to visit Nepal.

What made it particularly special was getting to spend the first two weeks of the trip in the centre of Bhaktapur, a beautiful town about 13km east of Kathmandu. Despite all the devastating damage from the earthquake last year it is still an incredible place to be. It is filled with amazing temples, intriguing alleyways, mountain vistas and friendly people. My hotel room looked out over Durbar Square, one of three in the Kathmandu valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This was just a couple of minutes walk to Vidyarthi Niketan School where we were working.

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Our team of 19 artists (14 international and 5 local) started with a day trip to the ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan, Swayambhunath (commonly known as the monkey temple) and Durbar Square in Kathmandu to get inspiration. The next day during we come together again to begin brainstorming about what we will create as a team during our time in Nepal. It soon becomes clear that we would all like to create something for the school that we are working at. It is a school for underprivileged children and they had very little to play on and so everyone quickly agreed that it would be great to build them an interactive sculpture.

After a couple of days the decision is made that the sculpture made here would not be exhibited at World Wood Day. As the design progresses the form of the sculpture meant that it would have a backbone of wire holding it together which would have to be attached to sturdy end posts cemented into the ground making it impossible to move. But there was another project waiting for the team so that wasn’t a problem. All of the team and many artists from around the world had brought and sent wooden carved bricks and it was up to us to incorporate them into another sculpture that would be exhibited at the main venue in Kathmandu. Within six and a half days, with basic tools and power only on at random times through the day, two big structures for the school were being built, carved and assembled, and the brick project had also been started.

After two great weeks in Bhaktapur, sadly we had to relocate to Kathmandu to an area with noise, pollution and little charm. Here all the carver, turners, and musicians came together to celebrate World Wood Day on the 21st of March. We pushed hard to finish the Brick project so that the other participants would be able to see the finished sculpture, and spot any bricks they had created. A highlight for me was seeing the Turan ensemble – a Kazakh folk music band created in 2008 by several students of the Kazakh National Conservatory. Using ancient wooden instruments and wearing ancient Kazakh costumes they were very impressive!

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It was absolutely amazing what our group achieved in such a short time. There was a varied selection of skills between us all which I think made for a great team. It was a real pleasure to work with such a friendly and diverse group, and the hard work and commitment of our two leaders Jacques Vesery and Cillian O’Suilleabhain made for a wonderful experience.

Heading to Nepal

I’m excited to be part of the Collaborative Wood Project again, organised by the IWCS (International Wood Culture Society) which this year will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal in March 2016.  Running alongside World Wood Day I will be working with 19 other woodcarvers from around the world to create a sculpture together, to be exhibited at the Royal Nepal Academy in Kathmandu.  Due to the earthquake last year and now the continuing blockade of essential goods coming from India it could be a challenging time, but I hope by being there we can help bring awareness to their continuing difficulties and involve local businesses and craftspeople in our project.

Jacques Vesery- USA [co-team leader]
Cillian O’Suilleabhain- IR [co-team leader]
John Van Der Kolk- Australia
Anees Maani-Jordan/ and now Malaysia
Jon Steinolfsson- Iceland
Henry Villalobos- Costa Rica
Louise Hibbert -United Kingdom
Nathalie Groeneweg – France
Aditi Agrawal- India
Charles Chambata- Zambia
Natanahira Pona- New Zealand
Wang Haibo- China
Lukman Alade Fakeye- Nigeria
Michael Cullen- USA
Miguel Geronimo Villalba- Argentina
Shanta Tuladhar- Bungamati, Nepal
Indra Prasad [IP] Shilpakar- Bhaktapur, Nepal
Surya Bhadur Shilpakar – Bhaktapur, Nepal
Tara Prasad Ojha – Kathmandu, Nepal
Sarmila, Nepal

Part of the collaborative wood project in Kathmandu is ‘Brick by Brick’ which aims to include bricks made of wood created by woodworkers from around the world. This idea was formed when Cillian O’Suilleabhain and Jacques Versery went on a recce to Nepal and saw that there were still piles of bricks everywhere as a result of the earthquake and they thought it would be a fitting thing to have people send wooden bricks that they have made as a gesture of support and awareness of the continuing crisis. So if anyone out there is interested, the bricks need to be 21cm long x 8cm deep x 5cm high, with any carving / decoration on just one of the 21cm x 5cm sides. It would be great for people to use their native woods (nothing endangered) and to keep any colour to a minimum to create a united look. They request that you send them to Nepal before March 1st 2016 and you can ask me for the address.

 

earthquake aftermath in Kathmandu

Clay Barn Summer Exhibition

I’m very happy to be showing again at Louise Darby’s beautiful studio again this weekend 5th-8thJune 2015.  I hope the weather improves as she has a lovely garden and it would be better enjoyed in sunshine!  I’ll be showing some of my new Coleoptera boxes as well as my kitchen range of mills etc.  I just hope I manage to finish some of the mills I’ve got in production at the moment as I think I caught a cold from my niece Hannah who was up visiting last weekend with my sister Judith and nephew Joe.  We had a great weekend and even made it up Snowdon for the first time with the help of my partner Mark, but the cold brings on my asthma which doesn’t mix very well with sawdust!  Anyway, I digress…inviteinvite 2

Calosoma Box

New Beetles for COLLECT

I am very happy to be showing with the Ruthin Craft Centre at COLLECT this year for the first time. I will be exhibiting a selection of my Coleoptera Boxes. These two that you see below are both new boxes made especially for the show.  Curculio Box was made with the help of a jeweller from Sheffield called John Furness who set the turquoise stones for me.  Although I have been doing a lot more metal work, I haven’t yet attempted any stone setting, but I really wanted to add eyes to some of my new Coleoptera pieces.
The exhibition is at the Saatchi Gallery, London and runs from the 8th – 11th May 2015.
You can find out more information at http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/collect/

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MADELondon 241 offer!

MADELONDON returns to One Marylebone this October. Get 2 for the price of 1 tickets to the show by clicking the link below.

MADE LONDON

The Design & Craft Fair

24 – 26 October 2014, One Marylebone, NW1 2AQ

www.madelondon.org

2 for 1 Ticket Offer

MADE LONDON is the annual showcase for the very best and most original contemporary designer-makers in the UK and beyond. Over 150 talented designers exhibit and sell their work direct to the public within this dramatic and beautiful building, in a relaxed and friendly environment (see all exhibiting makers here)

We’d like to offer you the chance to buy two tickets for the price of one. Use this exclusive link to buy 241 tickets

New Beetles for Ruthin

In July this year I started designing some new coleoptera inspired boxes for my show coming up at Ruthin Craft Centre – a beautiful gallery in North Wales.  The show is called ‘Is it Wood’ and is curated by Mary La Trobe Bateman OBE (who used to be the director of Contemporary Applied Arts).  Other artists include:

Peter Archer / Fred Baier / Dail Behennah / Roger Bennett / Chatwin : Martin / Eleanor Glover / Nicola Henshaw / Eleanor Lakelin / Lina Peterson / Anthony Roussel / Sophie Smallhorn / Wycliffe Stutchbury / Rupert Williamson

Bringing together 14 unique makers, who through their innovative and original ideas, challenge our traditional perceptions of wood.

I hope this colourful exhibition challenges traditional ideas about working with wood.
I hope it causes some surprises.
I hope it counters the response to so much work that is handmade in wood by inviting the visitor to look beyond the surface and the skill of the making to see the original ideas and innovations of each individual artist.
And I hope that the exhibition is enjoyable!

Mary La Trobe-Bateman, Curator.

You can find out more about the show at Ruthin Craft Centre  It runs until Nov 30th 2014.

Ruthin private view

It was great to finally see my pieces exhibited at the Ruthin Craft Centre on Sept 26th 2014!  Mary had put my beetles on a plinth with the beautiful bowls of Roger Bennett from Dublin who I’d met and worked with last year on the Irish ‘stone’ wall.  Despite being a large space it seemed a lot of people had come out for the opening, including Eleanor Lakelin – another female turner that I’d met at the craft fairs in London.

I also got to meet Mary La Trobe Bateman who had curated the show, who was lovely!

It was interesting to see that a number of us had studied on the wood/metal/ceramics/plastics course at Brighton University, including Sophie Smallhorn who was in the same year as me! Here are some photos from the show including some of Julie Arkell’s wonderful quirky figures, Eleanor Glover’s puppets, Peter Archer’s beautifully textured vessels and the stunning box oak wall piece by Wycliffe Stutchbury.