My love of wood is strongly influenced by my childhood. Growing up on a farm in Kent, I spent many of my early years playing in the surrounding woods. I owe much of my woodworking knowledge to my father who nurtured my interest in all things wood and tolerated the distraction of my presence in his workshop with good humour.
I turned my first bowl at school. While I quickly became fascinated with wood turning, I was frustrated by the limited time during lessons so it was not unusual for me to sneak back into the school workshop at weekends to continue my work. I have often wondered if my teacher tacitly approved of my clandestine activities.
Joining the army at 21, I quickly found my flights of individual artistic expression weren’t compatible with a service career and put woodwork aside for the time being. Once time allowed, I bought my first lathe in 2007 and started wood turning again. I quickly discovered that my ambition vastly exceeded my capabilities, and after converting many logs into hamster bedding, I was left with a number of third rate egg cups and 'useful pots to put things in'. But I was hooked again.
FULFILLING A PASSION
On retiring from the army in 2017, I realised that to progress, I needed some formal instruction and took a course with the internationally renowned Master Turner, Stuart Mortimer. With Stuart’s guidance and encouragement, I turned professional in 2019 and launched Butterwood.
I particularly love working with exotic woods. The huge variety of colours and grains mean I can create pieces in contrasting hues and textures. I was very lucky to acquire a lifetime collection of wood from a retiring turner which included lots of small pieces I had no clue what to do with until I was inspired to try segmented work. This has captivated me ever since.
THE BEAUTY OF WOOD
Although I use a lot of tropical hardwoods, I am committed to using only sustainable timber from FSC approved sources. I also make use of naturally fallen or felled domestic trees when I can get my hands on them. We have some beautiful woods in the UK that are a delight to work with and I have been particularly fortunate to find some fantastic yew from a friend who is renovating a derelict farm in the New Forest.
I also undertake commissions and can design and produce bespoke pieces from your choice of wood.
The hallmarked sterling silver discs that mark some of my work are a collaboration with local artist and silversmith, Ela Good from Ladytree Designs, and will form the basis of my Sterling Collection.
I exhibited at the Avon and Bourne Valley Art Exhibition in 2019 and currently have several pieces on display at the Amesbury Art Gallery.