inspiration rocks

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The other day I went in search of a beach that I last visited almost 20 years ago.  It had stayed in my memory because it was covered in perfectly round rocks, like a midden of  of abandoned dinsosaur eggs.  … Read More

What I fancy making right now

posted in: making, painting, thoughts | 0

A week walking in the Yorkshire Dales and then a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park with its new Sean Scully exhibition has left my senses thrilled and my thoughts questioning the ability of art to communicate even the vaguest inkling of past experience.

Poetry is not words

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Poetry is not an arrangement of words, but a quality of openness, a distillation of experience and a refinement of expression. So to paint a poem is an entirely reasonable aim.

The language of images

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  In the introduction to Kathleen Raine’s selected poems she says, nature poetry is not what we write about nature, but rather the language of images in which nature daily speaks to us of the timeless, age-old mystery in which … Read More

Tango

posted in: painting | 0

There is this interplay between the idea and what happens with the paint.  If the paint dominates, there is mess.  If the idea dominates there is dryness. Somehow there needs to be a way to stand back from both of … Read More

The persistence of impressions

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If I can find a unifying theme for these last months’ travels it is stone.  Red stone outcrops carved to make rock houses on Kinver Edge and cut through by the canal which I followed. Cotswold stones from cool blue … Read More

a bowl of water and light

posted in: painting | 0

I’ve just delivered a painting to a client who wanted to bring the essence of a landscape that she’d known since childhood into her home.  The bay between Tresaith and the Ynys Lochtyn peninsula is like a bowl of water and light, sea and sky almost indistinguishable, held by the outstretched arms of land. It is a place to rest and breathe.

Painting is like toddler talk

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I heard a toddler the other day copying his parents’ talking but making no sense.  Blah, blah, b’blah, blah, he said.  He couldn’t understand what he heard, but he copied the sounds because he just had to join in.  One … Read More

Why purple doesn’t exist

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The colour purple does not exist in the real world. Apparently it’s true. A rainbow of light from red to violet floods our surroundings, but there is no such thing as purple light. Purple only exists in our heads. I … Read More

improvisation in earth tones

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After all those months of working with white for the land, sea and light collection, my palate/palette was well and truly cleansed.  So I’m beginning to open my eyes to colour…..

land, sea and light

posted in: furniture, painting | 1

Land, sea and light is a collection of 17 white reliefs, hung as the doors of oak and beech cabinets, inspired by the cliffs and beaches of the St Davids Peninsula, Pembrokeshire.

the mist of familiarity

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In 1819 Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, “the mist of familiarity obscures from us the wonder of our being.” Is the role of the artist to commit themselves to peering through the mist and to re-present the familiar in a way … Read More

cliff top to vacuum press in a day

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A few year ago I wrote a blog post asking whether it was possible to retain the energy of a sketch in a piece of furniture.  Today may have been a step towards that.

Banksy or Van Gogh – who to copy?

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Right now I’m struggling with the finish of a series of landscape cabinets and would love some fresh ideas.  The doors are laminated reliefs inspired by the coastal landscape. As a ‘medium’ it’s got huge potential to explore the things that … Read More

coincidence – pierced forms

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Isn’t the web a feast of coincidence.  A ring carved from bamboo by Kevin Woolgar @kevinwoolgar, a photographer in Puerto Rico, and a ceramic sculpture by Matt Sherratt @sculpturalforms working in North Wales arrived via email and the Maker in … Read More

hang a landscape on your wall

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I want to make a collection of cabinets that hang on the wall like beautiful landscape paintings, whose interiors take you inside the landscape, and that everyone can see because it will go on a tour of public galleries around … Read More

while storms rage

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While winter storms drive huge waves against the Pembrokeshire coastline and we have to take diversions to avoid the beach boulders and debris tossed across the roads, a wave-inspired dining table finds an altogether more peaceful home in a beautiful … Read More

300 years in the making

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Last Saturday saw a significant celebration – the unveiling of the first piece completed at the Pembrokeshire workshop. It had only taken 300 years to make.

The lighhouse cabinet

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Late last year a client arrived to discuss a cabinet for his new Georgian appartment in Clifton, Bristol.  He was carefully carrying a large cardboard box.  When I asked what the cabinet was for he openned the box and removed … Read More

JCBs and day-flying bats

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 It’s been a week of arrivals and unexpected help.  Birds from Africa, bats from hibernation, carpenters from Tasmania, and machine tools from Milton Keynes.

Nature in Art exhibition

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delighted to have my work in the British Contemporary Crafts exhibition at the Nature in Art Gallery near Gloucester, UK,  13 Nov – 16 Dec.

rock pool collection pictures

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Here is the collection of sculptural lights and tables inspired by the tiny marine world inside a hole in a large boulder at Caer Bwdy Bay near St Davids in Pembrokeshire.

Land, sea and light video

posted in: thoughts | 0

Here’s a video about  Land, Sea and Light  – this is the beginning of a project to create a collection of fine furniture inspired by a stretch of the most beautiful coastline on the St Davids peninsula in Pembrokeshire.

using burr veneer video

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How do you create a veneered table top? Here’s one of a series of “making of” videos now on the site.  A coffee table designed to sit between two comfy cream sofas in front of the fire in the drawing … Read More

Birdsong Tables

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A while ago, sitting on a bridge in my local nature reserve and listening to a particularly soulful blackbird,  I realized that birdsong could be a great source of inspiration for the visual design of my furniture.  Now I’m about … Read More

Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen

posted in: making | 2

I heard today that I have been accepted for associate membership of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen.  It means that my work will be appearing in their rather splendid summer show in Painswick (30/7 – 21/8.. well worth a visit) … Read More

Boxes as Sorbet

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Boxes are a sorbet for the furniture maker – they refresh the palate between heavier and more complex pieces.  But they are also a reminder of the fundamental qualities of wood which make it a unique and living medium.

Clay, wood and beauty 3

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If you’ve been reading the recent posts you’ll know that I’ve been thinking about the relationship between woodworking and ceramics, both from the practical point of view – thinking about how they complement one another and how to combine them, … Read More

clay, wood and beauty: 2

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Paul Bradley – the maker of the pot in the previous post  – pointed me at the work of Edmund de Waal.  It’s interesting what he is saying in this video about his Japanese influences and you can see clearly … Read More

clay, wood and beauty

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I think there’s a great affinity between ceramics and wood. I treated myself after a recent commission to this beautiful piece by local potter, Paul Bradley.  It’s very refined and yet has a natural coarseness to the surface and obviously … Read More

Furniture and birdsong

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With all the wonderful bird song beginning again now and Spring feeling as if it must burst out soon, I have been thinking about birdsong as an inspiration for furniture.  In my past life I worked a lot with birdsong – … Read More

Furniture as sketch?

posted in: thoughts | 0

Can a piece of furniture be a sketch? Or more specifically, can it have the immediacy and energy of a sketch? That’s what’s been on my mind. Sometimes I get frustrated by the precision of “fine furniture”… it seems so … Read More