About - Wood n' Art

My wife, Maureen, and I set up this venture driven by my passion for drawing and working with wood coupled with a need to extend our audience beyond family and friends. I have been working with Computer Software most of my career but only recently started to work with website design, set-up and maintenance.  Maureen has extensive eBay experience with thousands of buyer/seller feedbacks at 100% positive demonstrating a great knack for working well with buyers and sellers over the internet.  Consequently we had the main constituents of a working team to create this Wood n'Art  adventure to publicize my work on a website and by selling items through galleries and exhibitions as well as from stalls at Art and Craft fairs. Maureen is a car boot sale fanatic so we just had to have the occasional stall and our experience of selling wood items on eBay demonstrates that people need to see and feel pieces before they buy. At our first stall in Hamble I was amazed at the interest everyone showed in the displayed pieces and that just everyone wanted to feel the wooden items. It is not the same as a drawing or painting, 3 dimensional art needs to be touched because the feel is a key part of experience and wood is such a tactile medium.

Brief Background
I am a keen sailor and love working with wood as well as sketching in pencil, ink and watercolour. Although not formally trained, I have practiced with these media as a hobby for many years (and one day hope to get it right :-) – a hobby that has always been secondary to family and career. We have lived in Whitchurch, Hampshire for over 30 years and, until a few years ago, a regular London commuter. My appreciation for wood and art (drawing and painting) began at school. Despite liking and doing very well in Woodwork and Art classes I was forced to drop them prior to O-Levels to focus on those subjects that would provide a foundation for a “real” career. Consequently my “real” career after a degree in Chemical Engineering was in the then formative Computer Aided Design (CAD) industry. The application of computers to do design calculations and graphical representation as well as providing machine tools with the instructions to make the designed part. As a software engineer I developed software to create engineering drawings in 2D and 3D besides working with customers to make most productive use of these CAD tools. This association with computers and design / graphics constituted the bulk of my career and kept my hand in the artistic side of engineering. Nowadays computer art is a recognized discipline. I have had fun creating “art” or non functional graphics with computers, however I still prefer the hand crafted form. My engineering grounding still drives me to combine functionality with elegant form; reality with artistic flourish and the application of sound woodworking construction without the need for screws and other fixings. The food platters, cutting boards and presentation planks are simple but practical examples being sympathetic to the grain of the wood to make them attractive and tactile functional items. My interest in sailing led to the creation of the Windward series of wooden yachts that are stylized in hardwoods to illustrate realistic motion whilst utilizing the grains of the different woods to visually illustrate the textures of sails, hull and ocean. A variety of hardwoods including ash, oak, spalted beech, sycamore, maple, elm and cherry have been used so far.

So I am perhaps more of an Engineer than an Artist with woodworking and painting being an enjoyable hobby and a great distraction from the rigours of working life for many years. I am sure everyone with a consuming hobby would consider that to be their ideal fall back career in the event of the loss of the "real" job, with the ultimate goal of making that transition a reality. This is my transition.