My fascination with 3D form has really peaked to an all time high, especially the idea of taking an everyday material and turning it in to an object of beauty with your own hands. When you mention the word “craft” folk often get the wrong idea, assuming that these pieces are going to be clunky and dated, for some reason they only link manufactured goods with contemporary design. But I think there’s a set few who really transcend both parallels, finding that balance and middle ground that so many desire. British artist Nic Webb happens to be one of those makers.
Nic crafts objects using a mixture of materials, these include stone, metal, ceramic and paint, but he mainly specialises in manipulating wood. His studio is in Camberwell, South East London, within a community of artists and makers at Vanguard Court. He’s a keen walker and uses these trips to collect wood from all over the UK, he even sources his wood from the many parks and gardens of London and prefers to work spontaneously depending on the shape/texture of the wood. Working with greenwood in this way allows great freedom in the making process as the wood often twists, moves and changes colour unpredictably. In the same way potters are attracted to wood-firing.
I myself had a go at spoon carving over the weekend, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting the skill, precision and time that it takes to carve such a primitive, but deceivingly complex, utensil. Not only that, but you use exactly the same eye that you’d need when designing industrial products, looking at both two and three dimensions. I hope you enjoy these pictures of Nic Webb’s wooden utensils, and will take a quick jump over to his website to see more in his gallery. He also experiments with a mixture of bowls and platters.