I’ve always loved paper, and have experimented with paper sculpture, paper folding and paper making. I like drawing and printmaking, and I make and sell my own cards, but I often feel that my artistic efforts fail to live up to the promise of the blank page, so my focus is bookbinding.
I started bookbinding in the 1990’s when I met Maureen Duke. She taught me traditional binding and we kept in close touch until her death in 2018. I have learnt contemporary bookbinding techniques from Lori Sauer, who is a fellow of the Designer Bookbinders, and from Benjamin Elbel.
Though I repair books when I’m asked to, and I have done several types of fine binding, my main output is small sketchbooks made from scratch. They contain cartridge paper (for drawing), or watercolour papers (for painting). The binding may be wrap-around leather, a case binding, or a straight or mad concertina fold. I like my bindings to be handled, used, used up, and bought again!
As a way of using up offcuts, I have started to make tiny pop-up cards, and these threaten to become a major preoccupation. So far I have made about 35 designs, plus all the letters of the alphabet.
I’m happy to be contacted by email.
I work with a scalpel, cutting paper by hand to create layers, series and multiples. There are two distinct strands to my work; the first is layered land and townscapes that use flat areas of coloured paper and occasional detail to create an impression of the landscape and a sense of quiet.
The second strand, and the focus of my current research, uses documents and books to create sculptures that challenge our understanding of the role of these documents and facilitate an exploration of individual and collective memory.
My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the RA Summer Exhibition, the Viviane Fontaine International Paper Triennial in Switzerland, for which I was awarded 3rd prize in 2023, and the Paper Fibre Art Biennial in Taiwan.
I graduated in Visual Arts: Drawing from Camberwell College of Arts in 2003. In 2020 I completed an MFA at Oxford Brookes and am currently researching for a PhD by Practice.
I design and make letters for a range of purposes – memorials, lettering for buildings and pavements, inscriptions to commemorate events; plaques, tablets and public art. I carve stone and slate and design letters for metal, wood and other materials. Each piece of work is the result of a sharing of ideas and possibilities. I try to make each inscription visually attractive using strong letterforms and sensitive design. I work in north Oxfordshire and on site throughout the UK. Visitors are always welcome to visit the workshop to see work in progress, and to discuss possible ideas. I read Ancient History in St Andrews and studied stone carving at Bath College. I’ve been awarded a Crafts Council Development Award and exhibit regularly.
I have worked with paper as a medium for some time whilst running a creative design company and have been commissioned to produce paper sculptures for display work and other promotions. I now focus on using the medium to express my own ideas. I have demonstrated paper sculpture in John Lewis and other venues and have recently started doing workshops. Ten years ago I took up woodcarving, my first projects were figurative abstracts, I then went on to explore simple abstract forms using various woods. I acquired a lathe to assist with wood carving but soon got into the world of turning bowls and pots. This led me to experiment with recycling materials such as old magazines, plastic signs and other materials that bond together and can be turned. I have also done some stone carving from time to time. When I work in stone I often develop forms previously worked in wood. I find it stimulating alternating these different media, although the disciplines are different, ideas can be carried across from one to another.
2013 ( Fletcher) Prize
The Prize is given by Helen Hardy in memory of her late father Antony Smith. The award is given for work exhibited at the annual Woodstock Exhibition, judged by Helen Hardy, Joanna Foster CBE, OCG President and past Chair of Crafts Council, and Carol Anderson, Oxfordshire Museum Curator.
The 2103 prize-winning bowl is made from recycled material, magazines, coloured paper and plywood.
The 2018 prize, named in honour of Audrey Blackman, was awarded for another piece, a yellow and gray bowl made from recycled Corian.