Another week of steam bending and finishing for a wooden sculpture which has been commissioned for a private garden in London. Working with Charlie Whinney, six lengths of high-quality ash board have been curled and twisted into an organic ribbon which swoops in and out of a wall. The bending process is an exciting time; watching and maintaining water levels in steamers, wrestling the wood into shape against it’s natural tension and grabbing yet another clamp or screw to hold it in place. While we were working Nick and Cathy Stanley, from Witherslack Estate where the workshop is based, called in with their family and were treated to an impromptu display of this performance.
All went well which is due to a combination of careful planning, experience of working with the material and an understanding of what is possible. Then comes the much longer process of dealing with any splits, carving wedges to support the ends and give the impression of the wood diving into the wall, and of course sanding and finishing the piece.