I have always had a passion for wood, but have never received formal training in woodcraft. I work mainly with old-fashioned tools that have been passed down to me and I use traditional construction techniques such as mortice and tenon and dovetail joints. Finished furniture is sealed with several coats of linseed oil and polished with my own preparation of beeswax and turpentine. I also carve some of the chunkier pieces of driftwood which are more suitable for sculpture.
Most of my wood (about 95%) is collected locally by bicycle, and wheeled to my garden workshop where it is de-nailed, cleaned up and left to dry. I find all sorts of timber along the creeks and inlets which permeate the salt-marshes, the commonest being Pines, Oak and Mahogany. All have been worked at some time in the past, but erosion and decomposition in the marine environment have the effect of softening straight lines and bringing out the underlying beauty of the wood. Saltwater also has the effect of killing off any insect or fungal infestations.
I like to enhance my furniture with maritime-themed relief carvings, and often incorporate other ‘found objects’ such as beach pebbles or rope.