It never ceases to amaze me online how one thing can lead to another, like a subconscious thread connecting everything together. Recently we’ve enjoyed learning more about Japanese craft and wooden objects in particular, the way in which many of these independents emphasise the qualities of the materials they are working with is absolutely incredible. Through discovering the “Place to Gather” project which investigates the craftsmanship found within Ireland I stumbled upon an individual who I believe taps into this sort of sensibility found in Japanese works, in fact you could say he adopts a rather Japanese aesthetic in the objects he creates. The man I’m talking about is Liam Flynn, an Irish woodturner who’s work has appeared in galleries across the globe and today I’ve brought across a short film as a means as an introduction to those of you that haven’t seen his work before.
Inspired originally by his family involvement in joining and woodworking for a great number of generations Liam has focused solely on refining and recreating the classic wooden vessel form. In the short film below we see one of his trademark features beginning to take shape, this being the inner rim of one of his vessels nestled within another. Other elements that impressed me about his work, particularly on his website, was the chiselled nature of some his turned items, these especially reminded me of the wooden utensils from Japan with indentations across the form creating a textured pattern. Other quirky elements such as the addition of feet beneath his creations sat well with me too, I love the experimentation offsetting the simplistic and thin form, it’s a great juxtaposition to discover – you’ll have to see this for yourself after viewing this short video.
The ebonising or blackening of oak seems to be a recurring theme within Liam’s portfolio also, I’ve seen this achieved with India Ink in the past but I’d be fascinated to learn how he gets this effect with his work, hopefully he gets involved with more filmed projects like this one in the future so we can find out. His online gallery is a must see if you hold an interest in the art of woodturning or simply craft in general, who knows his work might give you a few ideas for projects you could undertake and try. I’m not saying this is by any means easy but if you never try you never know what is possible. Enjoy!