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Using wood, however, is always a delight. Engraving a piece of endgrain boxwood certainly involves sight, touch, smell and sound; a very sensual experience. Handling and using fine handmade papers is also a significant pleasure.


small scale, the detail, the (partly self imposed) restriction to black and white and the way it can capture the rural environment I love.


Is it important to you to keep more traditional crafts like this alive? I think that it is hugely important to preserve traditional craft skills. There is a simple delight about using something that is handmade, whether it is a tea cup or a jacket; it elevates the spirits. As a wood engraver, I have a strong sense of the history of what I do and the people who have gone before me.


My Albion hand-presses must have 33 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


been used by so many people during the past 150 years.


Your work features a lot of wildlife and nature, do you think working with such an organic material as wood means you gravitate towards natural subject matters? I have lived for almost all my life in small rural communities and so I am very aware of the plants, wildlife and quiet, almost secret, places and this certainly


influences my personal


work. I think I could spend the rest of my working life just recording the things I love within a couple of miles of the studio; the things I see when I take walks out along the lanes.


Have you always been a keen artist/designer-maker? I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not draw or make things. One grandfather was a


What is your favourite wood engraving you have ever created, could we see a photo? I think that the image that is closest to me is “The Fossil Collectors”. It shows our children searching for fossils. At the same time, it recalls days spent with my elder brother who was tragically killed when I was seven. The composition is partly dictated by the natural curve of the boxwood block. This engraving often resonates with people who have two boys.


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