Sally initially trained in 3D design and for many years specialised in the design and manufacture of hand blown glass vessels and panels and large ceramic tile installations, for both private and commercial clients. Six years ago, she was given a lathe by a friend and that was the start of my passion for making in wood. Using mainly English native ‘green’ (recently felled) timber, my distinctive decorative vessels often have wide tops and small bases with long elegant curves. They are usually rich in texture created with pyrography and carving, often embellished with acrylic colour and silver leaf.
In 2015 Sally was the recipient of a Bursary from the Worshipful Company of Turners which enabled her to spend time working with Jacques Vesery, it was an amazing opportunity. That year she was also invited to participate in the UK Crafts Council ‘Hothouse’ scheme for emerging makers and this prompted her to decide to become a full-time maker in wood.
Turning wood is a combination of ancient practical skills, an intuitive sense of the wood, the ‘art’ to make the most of the grain, the texture and the structure that is exposed in the making process. When you turn green wood the shavings are warm and damp, the studio is filled with the scent of the wood and your tools need to be kept especially sharp. As the wood dries there is often some distortion, the vessels becoming oval, a characteristic that can be exploited.