The Mere, 2023, 200cm high, storm fallen Chestnut, fire and cold pressed linseed oil. I collected this part of a beautiful tree from The Mere, in Ellesmere that is about a mile from my house. The Mere has many myths and Legends attached to it but I quite like this one: According to Charlotte Burn who recorded many folklore stories throughout Shropshire in the nineteenth century, an old woman named Mrs Ellis had a water pump on her property, she refused to sell or allow any of her neighbours the use of the pump to gather water, thus creating great hardship. One night it is said that the well overflowed and the following morning no sign of the pump or the old woman could be found, all that could be seen was the huge lake named after her Elles-mere.
I work with reclaimed and storm fallen timber using an ancient Japanese technique called ‘Yakisugi’. This method preserves the wood – Yaki means to heat with fire, and sugi is cypress. By slightly charring the surface of the wood without combusting the whole piece, the wood becomes waterproof through the carbonisation and is thus more durable. It also protects against insects, as well as making the wood fire retardant. All my work aims to be as sustainable as possible and I will only use natural materials.
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