These bowls, like a lot of my earlier work, were made from found wood. The textured and smooth surfaces are wonderful to touch and the bowls themselves become robust containers for the stories which they acquire; from initially finding the wood to the places which the pieces travel to after being finished.
This charred, textured and scraped bowl was made from beech wood, which had come from a tree that grew high up on the wild and rugged plateau of Dartmoor.
When I picked up the timber, left over from tree felling operations, this is what I could see:
The second carved bowl has charcoal on the rim which has been solidified using resins. The piece of wood came from a large arts complex and squat in Berlin called ‘Kunsthaus Tacheles‘.
I found it, already charred, in a long-dead fire on the snowy ground outside the building. I have heard that since then, the squat has been forcibly closed down. If you don’t read German, the inscription says:
‘Tacheles is an old Jewish word which means to make things clear, that is to get to the point’
When beginning to make these sculptures in 2004, I was studying the work of the artist Richard Long, who can condense the tale of a walk of a thousand miles into a picture of a spiral which traces the path. Short pieces of text are carved onto each bowl, telling a little about where the wood came from, so hopefully beginning the process of holding tales which these bowls were made for.
The following cherry wood bowl was made for the fifth wedding anniversary of two friends in 2009. The blackened outside was made, like the bowl above, by scorching the bowl with a blowtorch.
In Britain, wooden gifts are traditionally given to celebrate the fifth anniversary. The quotation carved onto the bowl is from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell:
‘What is now proved was once only imagined’