Posted on April 30 2014
Can you tell me a bit more about yourselves, Speckled Wood and why you began designing/making? We are a husband and wife team that since meeting many years ago have always had an urge to be creative together, combining our skills of model making and Fine Art/Illustration. After Matt's model making business took off we had an opportunity to acquire a laser cutter, which had always been a dream of ours and so to have our very own machine winking at us in the corner was very exciting! I was creating large charcoals and oil paintings at the time but I wanted to create smaller more accessible pieces that still felt individually crafted. As the company has progressed we have discovered that our individual qualities really compliment each other.
How would you describe the products that you make? We share a love of the combination of wood and colour and that is the starting point for each design. Our subject matter is strongly influenced by nature. We are both drawn to a natural rustic look, and our colours are usually very earthy - although we have experimented with a few livelier colours more recently. The paint is textured and distressed promoting the tactile quality of each piece with a subject matter that emanates a feeling of stillness and space. I am particularly passionate about the Sea Flowers and their fragile nature and antiquity. They are taken from a book of pressed sea ferns from the Indian Ocean that were picked and pressed in the early 19th Century by a distant relative of mine. I love the connection to her through a shared love of these beautiful delicate things two centuries on. We also make a few smaller products too, from brooches to hanging decorations to more playful designs like the wooden biscuits, our only products not inspired from nature - more our tea breaks!
Where are you based and does this influence your work? Very much so. Our workshop is in a beautiful setting surrounded by woods and farmland, situated high up overlooking the sweeping Bath countryside. The long drive up to the workshop is bursting with wildlife, it is a very beautiful spot all year round. We often go for a walk down the drive and take in the view, occasionally rescuing the odd escaped lamb! Being in the moment is a strong influence in our subject matter and that walk does it every time! There are also other creative people working there which always helps encourage and inspire the creative process.
What are you working on right now? We are excited at the moment about using solid chunks of wood and we are currently working and experimenting with different images and seeing where this takes us, letting it evolve naturally. We are also interested in hunting for recycled wood and getting creative with that. We have made a few small one off pieces before but our intention is to create more. We love the anticipation of discovery and get quite excited on finding an old piece of wood waiting to be transformed.
How do you relax? Going for a bike ride and having a beer in the sunshine, sketching and reading a good book (not all necessarily at the same time!).
Where's home, and what are the biggest pleasures of living there? We live in Beckington, which is a lovely peaceful village just outside Frome. There is an amazing local farm shop chippy and also incredibly delicious food at the Deli, Mes Amis and a choice of two pubs. For a village that's not bad!
If you weren't living there, where in the world would you like to be? Possibly somewhere in the depths of France, we have both lived there for a short time and loved the relaxed way of life. Or somewhere on the south coast of England as we love being near the sea. What's your favourite day out? A good walk along a stunning wild wintery beach or mooching about a flea market hunting for treasures; ending the day with a glass of wine and a meal with good friends. Check out the Speckled Wood artist'page on Seed.