From an early age I have always been fascinated by the colours and textures of many objects made from wood. As a professional model maker the more abstract block models of high tech buildings made in boxwood were far more satisfying than ones finished to look like steel and concrete.
Every tree has its history etched in layers. Each year a new season of growth and stasis leaves a discernible band of colour and texture in the fibres of every branch. The swelling trunk with its grain reaching upwards enveloping branches as they reach out to the side, leaving ‘knots’ in a plank sawn from the tree.
Recently I have been exploring chunks of felled apple trees form a nearby orchard. Regularly pruned they are full of scars, tortured and contorted sometimes diseased the wood is full of interesting features.
Living as a forest monk in many parts of the world I was often captivated by the characters of so many different trees in their varied environments. I was reflecting on life in a jungle with each branch competing for light, or roots clinging to rocks for stability. Strangling and smothering each other, spreading seedlings in their thousands trusting that one will survive. They are also homes for in numerous creatures that nest in crevices or bore into fibres and leave their marks.
In Thailand I lived in forest huts with beautifully polished teak floors, in England huts with cedar shingle roofs and plywood walls.
In my wooden creations I like to use contrasting colours and grains. Most designs are principally dictated by the shapes and forms as they are revealed to me during the carving or turning process. Sometimes a bowl turns into a hollow form as interesting features appear within. I have several pieces half finished, allowing the material to season and dry in stages or sometimes because the form hasn’t gone in any way close to the way I expected and I need to give the piece more time to form itself in my mind.
This wood working hobby is rapidly becoming a passionately artistic love affair that gives me the opportunity to absorb into a different realm of obscure contours, colours smells and textures and loose myself for a while in sheer delights.