The ongoing destruction of tropical rainforests has focused world attention on the responsible use of timber as a sustainable resource alongside wider environmental implications. 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 an individual I am not able to stop or influence this unnecessary exploitation and more crucially the debasement of the planet, but making useful and desirable things out of reused timber is one of the reasons for my work .
The practice of being an individual woodworker is my primary motivation. My use of reclaimed materials initially came about through a conscious effort to be economical in every way possible. 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 (particularly after removing warped and damaged areas). These things significantly influence what and how things can be made as well as the final character of the work.
The plain weathered wood collected from the coastal and rural landscape has a neutral visual consistancy (which I endevour to enhance) 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.