I trained as a furniture maker and designer in my twenties but I didn't focus on turning until more recently. I find the process very liberating after the disciplines of making furniture and joinery. I like to work intuitively without too many rules, using wood from the local landscape.
I make work in green, or wet, wood and allow it to dry in controlled conditions so natural distortions take place, sometimes over several months. I often choose material that will give interesting and unpredictable results, for instance wood from the fork of a tree, or a junction between trunk and branch.
I work intimately with each piece of wood on the lathe, endeavouring to create satisfying forms that establish a point from which the material can express itself through the drying process. When it is dry the finished work holds a story - revealing characteristics of the species, the age of the tree, which part it came from, and where and how it grew. Stresses in the wood determine how it shifts, folds or splits as the moisture content drops. This is what fascinates me.
I have recently moved to Falmouth from southern Spain where I worked for several years in oak, olive and almond. The climate there was dry and the trees were small and slow growing. Conditions in Cornwall are very different and I am enjoying exploring the new opportunities this presents.