4. LOVE FACTOR, 2009.

 
As an artist my output currently has two strands to it: one is these primitive-looking Thrones, Tables, and Benches made from old oak, that incorporate sometimes figurative elements or denuded iron and patches of applied colour; the other is sculpture Ė mostly naively derived from the structures of living forms such as plants, sea anemones, and the human figure.

 
Yes, there is a sustainability aspect to the work. That is because I prefer not to start with new materials but with those bearing evidence of former use Ė defunct oak fencing posts and scraps of weathered wire for example, unearthed alongside cliff paths or woodland tracks, then sometimes batches of salvaged oak roofing timbers and boat ribs discovered at reclamation yards.

 
My main reason is a kind of fascination for them, for the colours and textures they have developed during prolongued exposure to sun and rain and salt winds, for abrasions and saw marks, empty mortices, peg holes, rusted nail- and bolt-heads. These materials are like treasures to me, bearing clues about their pasts and our involvements with them. Actually it would be more honest to say I just feel at home with them. Another reason might have something to do with making the work more difficult. I think maybe that helps produce in the finished piece a sense of improbability or rarity. Either way, working with relic materials is a habit I canít shake off. And after more than twenty years of making, the biggest challenge is still how to create works that are at least as compelling or seductive as the raw materials I start out with.

 
I used to sell work through Designers Guild in London, and The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Ockley; Iíve also made functional and sculptural pieces for The Eden Project, as well as a number of hospital courtyards and touring exhibitions, famous people and my Mum. Now I work mostly to commission, a process I still find rewarding, yes, but exciting too.

 
For this exhibition in Appledore I have made some new things, incorporating favourite shapes and signatures, but also trying some ideas out for the first time.

 
It is great to be exhibiting with a bunch of furniture makers, I never thought I would. And in such a cavernous yet fertile space, too.

 
One thing I am looking forward to is being around for the four days and having the chance to chat to visitors about the work and weather.