Wood becomes paper becomes wood
I am a wood and paper artist using traditional wood working techniques, to produce intriguingly textured and patterned objects. In 2002 after accidentally leaving a book out in the rain, I developed the award-winning ‘Paperwork’. I could not bear to throw away my ruined book and decided to reuse it. I had specialised in wood as a medium during my Decorative Arts degree, so I transferred those wood working techniques to the paper. Recycling has always been an important element to me within my work, so to be able to create a technique using the printed pages of unwanted books and paper that no longer had a use, became a defining factor within my practise.
I hand-make each piece of work in my Derbyshire studio. I begin by making the material, each page is layered and transformed back into a solid wood like material using old book presses. Traditional wood working methods are then used to create tactile shapes and visually pleasing objects from that material; the unique surface patterns on the paper (created by the original colour and text from the pages) when the objects are worked can never be recreated and echoes wood grain; ‘wood becomes paper becomes wood’.
In 2019, I came full circle and began combining paper with wood. The relationship between the two materials is taking me on a new journey within my artistic process. Continuing the working practises I previously employed with each material independently, I have married the two with visually intriguing results. I am fascinated by natural shapes and the beauty of nature, it is these shapes, combined with recycling and the evolution of both materials that has guided my work, to where it is today.