The destruction of tropical rainforests focused world attention on the responsible use and sustainability of timber as a resource within the context of wider environmental issues. As a consequence solid wood needs for all types of construction can now be sourced from well-managed softwood and temperate hardwood plantations in Europe and North America. However, furniture, architecture and decorative work is still undertaken on a large scale using 'exotic' timber species from unsustainable sources. As a modest individual I am not able to stop or influence the unnecessary exploitation and debasement of the planet, but I am making a tiny symbolic gesture.
I am primarily drawn to exploring the creative use of reclaimed materials to realise practical and aesthetic ideas. As well as using discarded timber from my locality I have to use it in conjunction with new sustainable timber to realise my ideas. New wood can be obtained any shape and size whereas useable recycled material is more difficult to obtain and invariably found in quite small sizes. These things significantly influence what can be made as well as the character of the work.
The plain weathered wood collected from the coastal and rural landscape has a neutral visual consistancy but the salvaged painted wood is a waste product of urban renewal and varies a great deal in visual character. Collecting and responding to the already painted material is a new situation every time and involves a more conscious image building process, making each coloured piece of furniture more unexpected and unrepeatable.