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Studio Selections

Studio Selection Pieces

Our Studio Selections showcases a few of the items we currently have in our Shop and celebrates the inspiration and creative process behind them. Each piece has been expertly created by the maker. Below we have four pieces of work that we are featuring as part of our Studio Selections.

Pippy Burr Elm Dish by Glyn Hall

This is a beautiful woodturned dish that has been made by Cambridgeshire Woodturner, Glyn Hall.

We chose to feature this piece as it showcases the art of woodturning at it’s best. Dating back to ancient Egypt and Rome, woodturning involves the use of hand-held tools and a lathe. Whilst the lathe has evolved over the centuries, with automatic lathes being used to produce wooden products on a massive scale, the hand turned lathes used by woodturners can create detailed and, naturally, more individual and original wood turned pieces.

The timber for this dish was sourced from Ickworth Park National Trust House in Suffolk. Glyn mentions it is sometimes called Pussy Foot Burr as the burr patterns resemble cat paws!

This particular timber was seasoned for 2 years prior to turning and has been finished in Danish Oil.
About the maker:

Glyn has been working with wood for over forty years.

He works mainly with English hardwoods which he generally sources locally. Glyn enjoys working with exotic timbers sourced from specialist suppliers.

“Wood is a beautiful and amazing medium to work with, the grain and figuring can be stunning, every piece is unique” says Glyn.

To view more of Glyn’s work and that of our other makers specialising in wooden crafts please click here.

You can go directly to view the Pippy Burr Elm Dish by clicking here.

‘George’ Hand felted Vessel

This delightful piece has been created by Suffolk maker, Evelyn Plantizer.

We love the originality and flexibility of this vessel, which can be utilised in a variety of ways, bringing new life to tired pieces and those objects often relegated to the recycle bin.

Below Evelyn describes the process in creating this piece.

“Here I used a rough sheeps wool from a local sheep called “George”. The natural deep chocolate brown colour has some lighter fibres incorporated as well. I added lustrous white silk fibres as a contrast to the natural wool fibres. The wet felting process makes the fibres shrink and a rippled effect is visible”

Rougher wool works well for objects especially when incorporating other materials and fibres like shiny silk or spun wool threads. Their natural colours remind Evelyn of working with clay or porcelain – the inspiration for making vessels was born.

We all have so many objects standing around – here we have the opportunity to put them away flat when not in use. The bottomless vessel! Sleeves are made to cover ugly vases, jars or even plastic bottles, and can be sent flat in the post – in a jiffy (bag). And when one includes a voucher for flowers or a seed packet for the garden, who wouldn’t like such a present!

The vessel can be filled with dried or fresh flowers, greenery from the hedge or a candle. Evelyn produces one-off items; nothing will be produced in high numbers because the materials will always give her new ideas to explore.

About the maker

Evelyn has been an artist, maker and educator for many years. Her inspiration is often texture and materials, which she likes to explore using different techniques from glass fusing, pottery, silver smithing, paper collages and felt making. Working with raw wool, often sourced from local sheep or Alpacas in Suffolk, she cards and combes and then felts the wool with water, soap and muscle-power.  It can be a time-consuming process until the natural materials bond together to form a new and strong material – felt.

To view Evelyn’s work and that of other textile artists please click here.

To view the ‘George’ Hand Felted Vessel please click here.

Another piece that Evelyn has created (not available in our Shop) is an Alpaca wool vessel, as seen below.

Evelyn comments “Here I experimented with different qualities of Alpaca wool and added a rim of very fluffy fibres around the top. The main body has added textures using pre- felted off cuts and wool threads. I produced a flat piece of felt and then sawing it together in an oval shape. The ugly plastic flower pot gets an unusual make-over”.

White Alpaca Vessel

Multi Quartz Necklace & Bracelet Set

This stunning necklace and bracelet set has been made by Essex Jewellery Designer, Nanuk Jewellery.

This set displays a wonderful array of colours, which work in perfect harmony to create unique, eye catching jewellery.

The multi quartz beads are a mixture of rose quartz, crystal quartz, amethyst and prehnite, in soft pastel shades of pink, green and purple, and faceted so they have a bit of sparkle. They are fully knotted onto pink silk, to make a matching necklace and bracelet set.

The clasps are handmade from sterling silver in a unique design, made to be decorative as well as functional.

About the maker

Louise, the maker behind Nanuk Jewellery, studied jewellery making and design at university, after which she spent some time working in a local jeweller’s before setting up Nanuk Jewellery.

Louise mostly works with sterling silver, incorporating wire work, gemstones and traditional pearl knotting techniques. She enjoys using colourful strands of gemstone beads, making them into necklaces, bracelets and earrings with her own hand made silver fittings.

“I like to include colour and intricate small details in my work, and combining gemstone beads with my own unique handmade findings gives me a chance to do this” says Louise. Louise also makes a range of steam punk jewellery under the name of Nanuk Designs.

After completing several very enjoyable bookbinding classes, focusing on different styles of binding and traditional techniques, Louise has also started to make her own journals and sketchbooks, using decorative papers and leather for the covers, and different paper for the pages to accommodate either writing and journaling or sketching and watercolours.

We have a selection of these books in our Shop, please click here to view.

To see more of Nanuk Jewellery’s work and that of other jewellery designers please click here.

To see the Multi Quartz Set please click here.

Oak Bowl – Acorn Design

We have chosen this lovely woodturned Oak Bowl by Grumpy’s Woodturning as another example of a quality woodturned piece.

Geoff has given us some background to the bowl and a bit of background to the use of Oak.

“Oak is a wonderful timber. The combination of strength and resistance to decay makes it ideal for buildings and shipbuilding. The ships of the 17th,18th and 19th Centuries were nearly all built of Oak. Indeed, one of the anthems of the Royal Navy is “Hearts of Oak”.

The Oak that forms this bowl is a piece that I liberated from a pile of offcuts that were going to be burned. What a waste!”

As the piece evolved I decided that a wide rim would look most attractive and add to the appeal of the bowl. When the final form was complete several acorns were burnt into the rim using Pyrography. This is the technique of using a heated tool to burn shapes and patterns into timber.

I think the acorns really add to the attractiveness of the bowl”.

It is ideal for holding small items such as coins or sweets.

About the maker

Geoff is the man behind Grumpy’s Woodturning.

Geoff has always been interested in wooden items since his school days. His interest in wood was kindled when he saws a woodturner demonstrating at a builders merchant trade show.

The tools used in woodturning are hand held on a rest and all cuts are a combination of hand and eye co-ordination. Once the piece is turned to Geoff’s satisfaction, the finishing process begins. First the piece is sanded to a fine finish and then the sanding sealer is applied. This is when the attractive grain pattern pops out. Then, depending on what the piece is intended for, Geoff either polishes it with wax or food safe oil.

Geoff uses various timbers and likes home grown timbers such as Ash, Oak and Beech. He also enjoys working with timbers from abroad, with Sapele and Olive being favourites.

” I know a tree surgeon and sometimes he gets me some unusual timber like Laburnam. I also use reclaimed timber when I can get it. A couple of years ago a neighbour gave me some beautiful Mahogany that had been lying around at Tilbury Docks. It made some beautiful goblets” says Geoff.

Apart from the pens he makes, Geoff doesn’t work to a set plan. ” I start off knowing what I am going to make eg. a bowl and then the shape of the bowl evolves in my mind as the work progresses. This means my products are all unique and one of a kind” Geoff comments.

To view more woodturned items please click here and to go directly to the Oak Bowl click here.