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Eleanor Lakelin

Eleanor Lakelin

A passion for natural forms and texture is at the heart of my practice.

Working exclusively with trees that have been felled in the British Isles, I combine centuries-old craftsmanship using a wood-working lathe with both traditional and modern carving to produce sculptural vessels and forms. The provenance and heritage of the material and length of its growth beyond our lifetime fascinates me. I have a personal and instinctive way of working with wood, using design and process to enhance the material’s narrative by creating simple powerful forms. Flawless execution is combined with innovative use of my material to produce pieces which may be scorched, bleached, micro-waved or sandblasted.

I am interested in the way natural elements and processes layer and colour wood and how the passage of time and history is etched into the fibres of the material.  In ‘Contours of Nature’, I peel back bark to reveal the organic chaos that can exist in the material itself and then use a sculptural vessel or geometric form to explore the tension between order and chaos.  In ‘Time and Texture’ I build up layers through carving and sandblasting which reference landscape, natural figures and patterns. The forms and surface markings examine the seams and fissures between creation and decay, the erosion of nature and our relationship to the Earth.

After lathe-turning the form from ‘green’ wood, many pieces are hollowed through a small opening using gouges and chisels whilst the piece spins on the lathe. This is a technically difficult process as the forms are turned ‘blind’ and any irregularity in the material, as in Horse Chestnut Burr, heightens the difficulty. These narrow apertures and the sculptural qualities of the vessel present the viewer with a more complex experience of the piece. Not everything is offered up, the piece must be engaged with and explored to fully understand the process and the relationship between the outside and the space within.

Find Eleanor on the Crafts Council Directory

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